Tribal Print & Coral

city tribal style - printed leggings, wedge sandals, peach blouse and aviators

seeing double - aviators and coral
|| leggings via TRENDS  || S13 coral blouse, S13 braided leather belt, S12 wedges, F12 cashmere cardigan by Le Chateau  ||  aviators by ardenes  || cross-body bag by co-lab  ||

The other day one of my favourite bloggers, the gorgeous Signeroo, posted about how a stranger had commented on her dress as looking like “safari wear” – this is not a bad thing!  If you check out her post you can see what I mean – she looks lovely in a safari inspired dress, just her blog click link!

Can I just say that I am having a total moment with coral?  It looks so nice on tan skin, I feel so summery in this color! It also looks AMAZING on fair skinned girls, if my roomie wasn’t so shy I’d prove it – we have the same blouse.  Apparently it was featured on city line, which I didn’t know until I looked it up to link for you girls! Here I wear a size medium because I love a truly oversized blouse. Never be afraid to try the next size up when it comes to tops! This one is a great buy! Tribal and safari style are one of the biggest (and most beautiful) influences for summer.  Printed leggings were big on my must-have list for winter, and this gorgeous coral blouse transitions them perfectly for spring/summer!

I cinched the waist (to give the oversize blouse some shape) with a multi-colored braided belt and paired it with bold wedge sandals (check the outlets for them!), a neutral cross-body and coral (like, real coral) earrings a friend brought back from Mexico for me.  I have mentioned before how I love to have jewelry with a bit of a story behind it!

Sometimes I would never consider pairing certain colors together until I find an item with both in it – like coral and purple. Still, I am majorly in love with these leggings, I was a bit nervous about wearing them to work. ( I mean, tribal leggings to a law firm? Y/N?)  Turns out, my worries were totally unfounded, cause my boss and co-workers all loved the tights and the shoes! Yay.  Can I tell you guys a bit of a secret? I always wanted to work somewhere where you could dress nicely.. I mean, saving people is good and all, but scrubs? Yuck.  (Just kidding nurses, ilu!  … not dentists though, we’re still friends off.) Thanks for reading! everyone 🙂

xo, aiyanajanee

mint & gold

mint blazer, gold sequin shorts, nude heels

blazer, blouse, heels by LeCHATEAU  ||  shorts – thrifted, similar here  ||  iPhone clutch, LA rings, skull ring, heart bangle, braided headband by ALDO

I have to make a confession, my infatuation with gold is relatively new… for years I was a strict silver jewelry girl, I also boycotted the color brown during this phase.  I decided for some reason that they were boring colors and should be reserved for old people.  Ahh, to be 15 again.  Thankfully I’m over it and now I am obsessed with gold jewelry, to the point where I am thinking about changing my medusa piercing to a gold gem, what do you think? I love how gold looks on tan skin, maybe in time for summer!

Last week we had a few days where it was like.. 18 whole degrees.. so I borrowed my BFFs blazer and busted out my new sequin shorts for a cute spring look. I love the color mint, but I always feel like it looks much better on blondes, generally I prefer bolder tones for myself.  That’s why its such a bonus to have a friend who’s clothes you can borrow! 

To satisfy my gold-fever I just bought this gorgeous feather necklace from Silla, a local boutique in Kensington (they have a shop in Lethbridge as well) they have mostly jewelry and some cute hippie style clothing, its worth checking out for the beautiful displays alone! My brass branch ring is from a store down the street, Purr, and my turtle knuckle ring is from Manana Imports, which is a couple stores over.  Generally if I go shopping in Calgary I like to hit either Kensington or 17th Avenue, absolutely if you come visit those are the areas to see- cool shops, bars, restaurants and lots of interesting people.

The main reason that I love Kensington (and 17th) is all the consignment and vintage shops.  When I walked into Trends and laid eyes on these gold sequin shorts I actually squee’d with joy.  It was kinda embarrassing… then that doubled when I found a pair of mint leather shorts and double squee’d.  The thing is, I love shorts, and I love sparkles, and leather… so really I just couldn’t help but express my joy through a shrill squeal. Hope you ladies are even a fraction as excited to see this outfit as I was to wear it! Thanks for reading gorgeous girls!

xo, aiyanajane 

Neutrals + Neon – easy spring DIY’s

DIY - Glitter Clutch and Neon Cap Toe Heels

hippie accessories - feather earrings, turquoise claw necklace, rings and arm candy

skull ring, heart + cross bangles ALDO  || outfit LeCHATEAU – diy Cap Toe Heels & Glitter Clutch

Spring is finally here in Calgary! (No matter how it tries to get away- get out of here April snow we know you can’t hold on much longer!)  Cedric and I stepped out to enjoy the weather today, he had the best time running around the yard, did you notice him?!  I’m wearing few of my favourite trends for spring- a neutral relaxed top is my key wardrobe piece, I love the sheer back on this one, the light fabric and the cuffed sleeves- it just drapes perfectly for an easy, breezy cool look! Speaking of cool, I am determined to pave the way towards shorts, even though the weather really doesn’t merit it. 

Mint and gold are two colors I have been obsessed with for ages- I made this DIY Glitter Clutch around this time last year and am still loving it!  Another spring trend I DIY’d? Neon + Nude ColorBlock Cap Toe Heels– super easy to make and a super cute spring trend to try! Both DIY’s are cheap, fast and easy- just how I like em!

I accessorized my outfit based around my spring inspiration DIY’s. I got this turquoise claw necklace while visiting one of my best girlfriends in Vancouver a few summers ago- she took me to this amazing little vintage shop and I have been dreaming of returning ever since! Whenever I wear it I remember summer fun with a beautiful friend! Subtle stacked gold bangles and mixed metal rings paired with colorful feather earrings add to the easy summer vibe. I’m dreaming of Coachella from Calgary I suppose!

xo, aiyanajane 

Use the Pinterest button below to pin and remember these easy spring trend DIY’s!

DIY color block glitter clutch Neon and Nude cap toe heel DIY

Paris is always a good idea…

… and how I wish I could run off to Paris forever some days! My youngest brother is there now so I think my desire to flee to Europe is exponentially higher due to jealousy!  We missed him over the Easter holidays but I had a lovely time relaxing with my family, visiting my horses and all the new baby calves! It’s so important for me to get home to the farm and remember that life always goes on- even when it feels like its ending because some moron decided to dump you out of the blue by text message because you finally got the job you’ve been working for and aren’t running back to be with him. Obviously I’m not bitter about it at all. . .

Whenever I find myself having a difficult time emotionally, I find myself turning to strong women for comfort.  Sometimes I think about the women in my life and how unbelievably strong and inspirational they can be, I feel blessed to have been surrounded by beautiful, resilient women.  As girls, so often we feel like we need a man to comfort and hold us, but the greatest comfort rarely comes from a mans touch, but rather from the kindness or wisdom of a mother. A perfect embodiment of the kind of woman I am talking about is one of the most iconic actresses who has always inspired me, Audrey Hepburn. What I love about her is the openness with which she always gave her heart- she just loved fully and followed her heart without hesitation, even into painful places. The most beautiful women, as she says, are those who are unapologetic about their heart. An absolute fashion icon, you can see in her style that she always did what she loved – something about her begs for classic black and white feminine style.  Inspired by Audrey, I love this simple, chic look- perfectly paired with my favorite quotes from a woman I think we all could learn a great deal from.

“YOUR HEART JUST BREAKS, that’s all. but you can’t judge or point fingers. you just have to be LUCKY ENOUGH TO FIND SOMEONE WHO APPRECIATES YOU.”  ― Audrey Hepburn

head to toe- le chateau polka dot blouse, bow belt, ruffle clutch and tights  ..  sirens pleated faux- leather skirt and bow wedge heels

for me the only things of interests are those linked to the heart

feel the wind in your hair - diy ombre curls & a classic girly outfit

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

Classic Black and white - polka dot blouse, pleated mini skirt, ruffle clutch

I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.

Classic black fitted double breasted wool jacket - woolmark for le chateau

Why change? Everyone has their own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it.

Classicly feminine - pleated skirt and leather bow belt, bow wedge heels, leather ruffle clutch, black and white polka dot shirt, red lips and ombre curls

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

cute spring outfit- pleated leather and polka dots

I’m an introvert… I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.

sometimes change is just around the corner

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.

pretending to be a ballerina spinning in the streets of paris

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.

Sky High Wedges with tights and a mini skirt

Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.

Happy girls are the prettiest - Audrey Hepburn style

As a matter of fact, I rather feel like expressing myself now!

Girls just wanna have fun.. spin around in a pleated mini and girly accessories - bows, ruffles, and polkadots

I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I’d invented it, because it is very true.

DIY- ombre lightening hair spray & classic black and white girly style

On the one hand maybe I’ve remained infantile, while on the other I matured quickly, because at a young age I was very aware of suffering and fear.

in motion - leather pleated mini skirt, bell coat, short loose waves

I have learnt how to live… how to be in the world and of the world, and not just to stand aside and watch… walk with the knowledge that you are not alone

Marilyn Monroe Moment - pleated faux-leather skirt

We all want to be loved, don’t we? Everyone looks for a way of finding love. It’s a constant search for affection in every walk of life.

embrace everything girly - red lips, ombre curls, bows, pleats, polka dots and ruffles.

You have to look at yourself objectively. Analyze yourself like an instrument. You have to be absolutely frank with yourself. Face your handicaps, don’t try to hide them. Instead, develop something else.

only look back so you can smile and show them how happy you are to be moving forward

“i believe that LAUGHING IS THE BEST CALORIE BURNER. i believe in kissing, KISSING A LOT. i believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. i believe that HAPPY GIRLS ARE THE PRETTIEST GIRLS. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES.”  ― Audrey Hepburn 

I’ve always been very girly – even though I went through a decade long tom-boy phase thanks to growing up in a tiny farming community – but since leaving I love wearing outfits that appeal to my inner princess. A black and white polka dot chiffon blouse tucked into a flouncy faux-leather mini and accessorized with bows and ruffles satisfies all my sartorial desires.   I remember in my week of school (like back in grade one) I wore this beautiful sky blue lace ruffle dress, and all the kids made fun of me.. so after years of jeans and hoodies, sometimes I think I like to wear excessively girly outfits on an average day now just because I can, and because I no longer care if the other kids want to make fun of my feminine side! When I have a bad day I like to wear clothes that make me feel happy and beautiful! What better outfit to start spring (because its finally here in Calgary!)

wearing: blouse, wool jacket, clutch, bow belt, sunnies by  LeCHATEAU || pleated faux-leather mini skirt, suede bow wedge heels by SIRENS  ||

xo, aiyanajane

Audrey Hepburn Quotes

Thrift Store Find: Tailored Blazer

navy blazer with dark denim and grey for a perfect casual friday

thrift store finds - structured navy blazer

BLAZER by DERETA LONDON ||  BLOUSE by SMARTSET  || SUNNIES by ARDENE  ||  BEANIE + CLUTCH + SHOES by LeCHATEAU  ||  DENIM by BLUENOTES || ACCESSORIES by ALDO

One thing you may know about me by now is that I cannot resist a good deal- its why I love thrifting so much! My mother always said I could pick out the most expensive item in the store the moment I walk in- it’s this eye for the expensive (read: quality) that aides in my constant search for thrift store deals. This navy blazer jumped out at me immediately- the tailoring and the stitching are impeccable. I firmly believe that when you find something at a thrift store that is clearly good quality AND fits like a glove, that it’s a divine sign that you obviously NEED to buy that item. For me, $6.99 for a blazer that fit in all the right places was much too lovely of a deal to pass up!

xo, aiyanajane

EMERALD CITY

EMERALD IS THE COLOR RULING THE FASHION WORLD AT THE MOMENT…

Which is great news for me because I love wearing jewel tones, particularly Emerald! (Fun Fact: its also my mom’s birthstone) Would you believe that I found this beautiful Steve Madden cape at Winners (around this time last year) on sale for only $24.99!? Obviously that was not a deal to be passed up!!!

I was so excited that I immediately texted my girlfriends that I had bought the most beautiful cape, their response was significantly less enthusiastic than I expected. Clearly they didn’t get it, I mean the color, the tailoring, the price – it was perfect! Truly, they thought I meant something a little more batman-esque. A cape is one of the absolute cutest ways (or most badass, in Batman’s case) to keep warm. Just keep the rest of the outfit simple to let it stand out. Thankfully, my hair is finally getting long enough to make a nice bun! I love being able to put it up in a sock bun in just minutes and look perfectly pulled together!

 

Oatmeal Infinity Scarf by Purr, Patent leather accessories Le Chateau

Steve Madden cape, Purr Infinity scarf, liquid leather leggings

 CAPE by STEVE MADDEN || LIQUID LEGGINGS by ARDENE || INFINITY SCARF by PURR || ACCESSORIES by Le CHATEAU || BOOTS by BFF

Check out these other amazing capes by a few of my favourite designers:

Victoria’s Secret || Betsey Johnson || Jessica Simpson

I really like that the VS one has a hood, like little red riding hood! Which is your favourite? Oh, and did anyone see Oz, the Great and Powerful? What did you think?!

xo always, aiyana

pink, plaid and puffy

I have had the worst cold all week long, and as a result my appearance has suffered.. rather than try to do my hair or makeup sometimes I would rather just throw on a blonde wig and sunnies… just to find out if blonde’s really do have more fun. One thing is for sure, it makes me wanna be blonde for reals!

To keep warm in the cold bundle up in lots of layers; a tanktop, a cardigan, a flannel shirt, a puffer vest, leggings and a beanie all working together to keep you warm! To define your waist and add a twist to the outfit, try a stretchy belt at the natural waist for emphasis!

what i wore || LULULEMON puffer vest || WINNERS textured leggings || ZARA tanktop + cashmere cardigan || THRIFTED hot pink flannel || ARDENES faux-raybans  || LE CHATEAU stillettos + beanie + bag

mayan calendar silver turtles and hearts arm candy

silver arm candy all the way from mexico, thanks grandma ❤

What do you guys think, should I go blonde?

Let me know in the comments, to all my beautiful readers I hope you had a lovely weekend and that your Monday goes by smoothly! Keep smiling!

instablonde

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

Pin It!

instaUPDATE

Hello lovelies,

I’m sorry to be such a bad blogger, but I must confess all week long I’ve been feeling horribly negative.  Its not so much that I feel negative about myself or my life, more so that I sometimes just feel so overwhelmingly crushed by all the wrongs in the world, and I find myself depressed wondering how humanity can ever make up for the damage we’ve done.  So rather that do anything creative this week essentially when  I haven’t been at my practicum (which is going great by the way!) or in school, I’ve been moping, reading or hanging out with Cedric Diggory. Sometimes I just need time away from the cold outside world, so while 50 bunny pictures isn’t that exciting, unfortunatly its all I could manage this week. I’ve been exhausted with all the moving and changes in the last several months, and I just need a bit of a break!

I read somewhere that January 21st is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Although it is actually the turning point in winter and the days are now getting longer, a study said that many people feel their most depressed at this time of the year, once the glitz and glamour of the holidays is gone, you’ve likely reneged on your new years resolution, and truly its just to damn cold outside to not be miserable! I hope the rest of you have not been suffering from SADD that way I have lately.. I cannot wait for summer, the days right now are too short to even have daylight to shoot outfit photos after work!

 The days are getting longer now, its getting lighter, summer is coming… try to stay positive even in the middle of a deep freeze. In the meantime, close your eyes and think of the ocean.

in an attempt to stay positive and start the day off right, i changed my alarm… so far i still loathe getting out of bed in the morning.

wake up to positive messages

sometimes i just lie in bed for hours thinkin bout stuff

 JANUARY 18, 2013

ERNST V. ENCANA, ERCB, ALBERTA ENVIRONMENTernst v. encana

my grandma has been sending me regular updates via ipad from  sunny mexico! mexico grandpa old mani managed to organize my closet and finish my laundry, CEDRIC HELPED OUT A LOT.organized closet cute bunny

back to bed – home from my first day of practicum!first day of practicum, legal assistant

i was doing homework but someone had other plans..Cedric distracting me with kisses

we snuggle lots, everybunny needs some bunny to love!bunny and girl, bed, best friends

current reading material – quite a mix of literature books to read,; tricks ellen hopkins, how to be an american house wife, margaret dilloway, something fierce carmen aguirre, its the crude dude, linda mcquaig

CHIN UP BUTTERCUP! still trying to beat my bad mood and insomnia, ignore the massive bags under my eyes!CEDRIC made a new friend Mr. Platypus (he hates me)cedric and the platypus living in calgary sometimes you just feel so sick of winter..

AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FO DAT!

aint nobody got time fo dat, scraping icy windsheilds

xo, A

New Year, new you

How i created HEALTHY HABITS to get fit last year!

I posted earlier about how I don’t do New Years Resolutions, because I then feel motivated only by obligation and prematurely set up for failure. How many times have you resolved to eat well and exercise every day, only to slip back into old habits by February? We all do it.

did you resolve to GET FIT and BE HEALTHY this year?

Focus on those words, FIT & HEALTHY, because this should be your goal. Not thinness, not an exact number on the scale, or total inches lost, what comes first is your health, physically and mentally.

love your body

You need to be getting active for the right reasons! Make gradual lifestyle changes to better yourself, rather than crash dieting to lose those last pounds, the most important thing is to start your fitness journey for YOU, not based on someone else’s expectation of beauty.

First, banish negative thinking. You are not too fat, ugly, stupid or lazy to do this. You deserve love, but don’t try to lose weight to get a boyfriend (or keep one), try to lose weight to love yourself and appreciate your body. When you love yourself- when you have passion and hobbies and interests that keep you from looking for them, that’s when you find the person you’re meant to be with. When the negative voices in your head tell you that you aren’t good enough and fills you with doubts don’t listen- get up and prove them wrong!

Rather than comparing yourself to photo-shopped print models, find REAL WOMEN TO INSPIRE YOU…

Do you have a friend who has fitness goals as well? Team up, everything is easier with a second voice to motivate! Make sure to find an exercise regime that you are comfortable with, maybe you want to get out of the house or meet people, sign up for a class- yoga, rock climbing, pole dancing? Anything you can dream of, why not try? Or get a gym membership if you are the type who is motivated enough to actually go to the gym. Personally I’m an introvert when it comes to sweating, I prefer to do so in private- the swimming pool is the only public exercise place I dare to venture, and only because I am yet to build my own personal pool.. someday.. in the meantime, I work out at home using the world wide web for inspiration! For amazing fitness inspiration and food ideas I love Taralynn McNitts Blog, for workout ideas my absolute all time favourite is Cassey Ho at Blogilates! I follow a few other fitness blogs for inspiration and often buy the magazine (or at least check the website) Women’s Health, which is an absolute gold mine of information. Its kinda like Cosmo, if Cosmo had actual useful advice, rather than the same sex tips month after month.

Getting fit doesn’t have to be expensive!

In fact, you should be able to get fit essentially for free, provided you have a few basics. My at home fitness kit includes: 8 lb soft kettle ball, dumbbells in 5, 10 and 15lb increments (20 lbs when I borrow my little brothers!), a jump rope, exercise ball, and a yoga mat.

I’ve always considered myself relatively fit and active, but around this time last year I began to really realize that I had let myself slip. The stress and hopelessness I felt in my relationship had me sitting on the couch pounding back chocolate cake wondering why my boyfriend loved World of Warcraft more than me. I wasn’t in a healthy place mentally, I felt disgusting all the time, tired, out of breath and the repeated rejection I faced in my relationship had me feeling unattractive and unworthy. I hadn’t been to the pool in months, I could barely will myself to do anything other than work. I felt hopeless, overwhelmed, exhausted and didn’t even know where to start.  When I started feeling out of breath climbing to our third floor apartment, I realized that I needed to stop living in denial, and make a change for the better. When our parents (my ex boyfriends and mine) decided to send us on a trip for Christmas last year, it was the kick I needed to finally got my butt in motion!

First I got back to swimming…

for me, swimming is therapy, it always has been. It forces you to be aware and in control of your entire body, regulate your breathing and the rush of the water drowns out any of those overwhelming thoughts in your head. Its proven to be one of the very best exercises you can do. If you don’t know how to swim, don’t wait to learn- or try something like aquazsize, a low impact cardio workout that tones using the natural resistance and buoyancy of the water.

Next I added in Pilates and Yoga. I really lump these into one as I do poses or moves from both in any given session. Super power your yoga poses by holding light weights as you move through a series. Focus on form and doing slow but correct reps, not speeding sloppily though the workout. You’ll only be cheating yourself. If you have never tried it before, sign up for a class to learn the basics, then you can easily create a custom routine to do at home. I learned using Stott Pilates dvds that I got in my Special K box about ten years ago, I still have them, and they still work! Buying a workout DVD (or downloading it) is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to get fit, provided you use it regularly. Like I said, Blogilates has awesome FREE workout videos, bookmark it and then try not to cry the first time you try one!

Finally I used short cardio (jumping jacks, jump rope or running on the spot) combined with weight and resistance training to tone and shed pounds. By alternating between high energy cardio bursts, and slow reps with the weights you boost your metabolism, build muscle and burn fat. Do overhead tricep extentions with weights as you do squats (for perfect squat form check out another favourite fitness blogger of mine!), or bicep curls as you do lunges- anything to add extra weight to movement based exercises. Adding extra weight to ordinary exercises makes them more challenging and increases the rewards!

then: ~JANUARY 2012

now: JANUARY 2013

after

I lost 25 lbs in 6 months by forming HEALTHY HABITS

I formed these habits over a span of months, rather than trying to force a restrictive diet or strict regime upon myself. I focused on just getting better and being at peace with my body, not losing weight, and the pounds melted off. When I broke my pelvis in July, I recovered several weeks ahead of schedule- I attribute that early recovery entirely to physical activity, primarily swimming. Ten days after I broke it I was in the pool doing modified water workouts, a month after, I was doing yoga again. What was supposed to take a minimum of 6-8 weeks to recover from, took me just under 5 weeks. You might notice a slight indent on my left thigh, this bruise is all that remains of my injury (6 months later) everything else is 100% back to normal. The bruise doesn’t even hurt, but I believe the muscle was so damaged by the impact that it will likely be years (if ever) before it fully heals, a minor price to pay for my mobility as far as I’m concerned. The time spend bedridden felt unbearable, I had just started realizing how strong my body was when suddenly it was broken! But lying there, with my leg muscles deteriorating before my eyes, only made me more determined to get back up and regain that strength as soon as I could.

When I first started I would do a workout video one day, and go swimming another.

For the first few weeks I pushed myself to maintain at least 2 workouts a week. At first I had to force myself but my workouts got easier, I added more steps, increased weights, went running occasionally (through with my bad knees I couldn’t keep it up), rather than walk up the stairs on my way home, I started to run them. I noticed my energy start to increase, my mood improved and I just physically and mentally felt better! I started to notice that if I went a few days without working out, I would go back to feeling depressed an apathetic. Once I realized that, whenever I started on that negative thought pattern I’m so prone to, I would get up from whatever I was doing (usually TV or the computer, as I find those to be my biggest negativity triggers) and work out instead. It didn’t even have to be much.. 15 minutes of yoga was enough to calm my mind and re-energize my body.

At that same time I was also having digestive issues, with symptoms similar to Celiac Disease, although not triggered by gluten. I was tested for multiple possibilities and nothing came back. After years of problems, I finally realized the only real change in my diet (I never had any problems before moving out) was that I was no longer eating the organic meats my family raises on the farm, but instead most of my meals were store bought and prepackaged. By slowly removing and reintroducing foods, I found what the doctors couldn’t, that it was meat making me sick. I switched to only eating organic farm raised meat (bet you thought I was gonna say vegetarian- HAH, not for me) and cut out all the high sodium processed foods I loved like Sidekicks and Icheban. I started making almost all my food from scratch, because I realized it was the preservatives, antibiotics and god knows what else in the prepackaged foods that were wreaking havoc on my intestines. Switching to farm meat was easy for me, since I know people.. but even still, it required I shift my eating habits in order to get enough protein; avocado, eggs, beans, lentils and nuts are my favorite alternate sources.

Even before I switched to organic, I was eating relatively healthy. I have always adhered to intuitive eating, and rejected the idea of dieting in any form. I am not someone who does well with “You can’t!” because my immediate reaction is “oh yeah, watch me!” so rigid diets that don’t allow “bad” foods (or really any restrictive diet at all) makes me want to binge based partly on spite and partly because I sit and focus on how much I want what I can’t have! Instead of dieting, I eat a healthy base diet filled with whole grains, organic meat, lots of fruits and vegetables, and allow myself to indulge my sweet tooth. I pay close attention to portioning, which I believe is a huge factor in obesity in North America thanks to portions 2-3 times the recommended size being served in many restaurants. I eat lots of little snacks through out the day, usually in some form of chocolate because I am an addict.

Other than being a legit Chocoholic, my eating habits are generally healthy (and its been argued by some that chocolate is healthy so HAH!) I don’t drink pop, if I drink juice, I generally dilute it with water. Sweet drinks are a HUGE factor in obesity, and are just terrible for your health. If you are drinking pop on a daily basis, do yourself a favor and stop, you’ll lose weight guaranteed. A huge part of being healthy is being hydrated, so make sure to drink lots and lots of water- at least 2-4 liters a day. Water re-hydrates your system and flushes out sodium and toxins, minimizing bloat. Nothing replaces water- if you don’t like the taste, slice up a lemon and add that in for additional benefits.

Whatever excuses you are making for not exercising, STOP! THERE IS NO EXCUSE, and no one but you has the POWER TO MAKE A POSITIVE CHANGE!

After - pilates, yoga, swimmingA typical dry land workout for me is about a half hour, maybe 45 minutes on an ambitious day. I move through a variety of Pilates and yoga poses, with circuits focusing on the core, legs and arms, interspersed with bursts of cardio and weight training. I posted a variation of my usual workout here.

At the pool I swim for about an hour. This includes light yoga in the steam room to warm up and stretch out, and at least 15 minutes of treading water, using different kicks and alternating hands in and out of the water. The basic kicks in swimming are flutterwhipdolphineggbeaterscissor. Generally I do a minute set of each; 30 seconds with hands, 30 seconds no hands, then switch kicks and repeat all 5 kick circuits without stopping twice. Once warmed up, I do laps in 50 meter sets, alternating generally between my preferred strokes; freestyle and breaststroke, but occasionally doing either backstroke or the most difficult of all- butterfly! Because of my swim club background, I often mix strokes and kicks into drills- for example breaststroke arms with a dolphin kick. Dolphin kick is one of the absolute best core work outs you can find, but butterfly is such a difficult stroke that most people never get the benefits, by modifying it you get the benefits, without looking and feeling like a drowning victim.

Lately I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit. In the summer I was exercising 4 or 5 times a week, now its down to 1 or 2 times! Something about summer and being able to go outside makes SUCH a difference in my motivation, in winter I just want to hibernate under my blankies and cuddle Cedric. I’ve also been a lot more busy with school and work. To sneak in fitness where I can I do things like run the stairs during breaks in class, do 10 squats every time I go to the bathroom, and even just walk at a brisk pace wherever I go. The smallest things add up to make big changes. If you get in the habit of doing things you feel are simple, its more likely that you will continue to do them, and then seek out more challenges.

i know i could probably lose another TEN POUNDS…

if I decided dieting was worth it (I literally eat cake almost every day… it just keeps me sane okay) or if I wanted to push my training routine. But I’m not now, and never have been a size zero… and that’s okay!  What matters is that I feel better than ever before, and feeling great is the first step to looking great. Remember:

XO, A

I want to thank my personal motivators, who are always there to support and motivate me whenever I need them! Amazon girls- I love you, stay strong always!

be a savvy shopper and save

one of the very best ways to EVOLVE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE is to constantly be trying different things on.

The best way to find what works and what doesn’t is simply to TRY IT! Its not like you have an obligation to buy, and there’s no need to feel bad or silly if something looks terrible, so next time you feel the need to shop (but maybe you don’t actually need anything) go on a “scouting mission” and try on whatever tickles your fancy, but leave your wallet at home. You’ll get an idea of styles, trends and the shapes that work on your body shape, without feeling stressed about making a decision to buy. Take pictures if you aren’t sure, then ask for a friends opinion, or if you love it, take a photo so you know what to go back for! If you find that once you’ve gone home there is a certain piece that you can’t get out of your mind, then go back, at that point, you KNOW you want it, and why not? You put a real EFFORT into finding that perfect item, the least you can do is reward yourself by adding it to your collection, right?!

I like to shop all the time.. this is not budget friendly.

Often I go into stores and try an absolute ton of clothes on but purchase nothing. (Be nice to store employees and the clothes, hang them back up after you’ve tried them on! Respect goes a long way.) To keep my shopping in check, I make mental lists of items I want to add to my wardrobe, whether trendy pieces I want to try (like a crop top), or classic staples I need to upgrade (like a LBD) I have an idea of a few items I want to add, and try not to stray too far from the list. By shopping at different stores in search of a certain piece you also will be able to more easily compare fit, quality and prices and then find the best deal. 

I had some time to kill yesterday, so I hit the Winners in Westhills/Signal Hill, Calgary. In my opinion, its one of the very best winners in terms of great product, and I have been to a lot of them! I went there with the PROMISE that I would not purchase a single thing -simply look- as a few unexpected expenses popped up recently and I absolutely cannot justify adding more to my exploding closet right now (well I could, but I literally just have no cash to buy things at this point..)

There are so many amazing denim trends right now I just want to try them all!!

 I found a ton of items yesterday at Winners that were on my mental shopping list, including coated oxblood, grey snake print, and mint skinnies, as well as the most beautiful pair of gold metallic skinny Buffalo David Bitton Jeans, for only $29.99!  I also tried this chunky off white sweater with the most darling lace heart appliques, a fuzzy black sweater trimmed with gold chains, a lovely tonal aqua chiffon blouse and these irresistible little silk cut out shorts (which for only $10, I had to cheat and buy).

What I love most about the Westhills Winners, is their purse selection!

I have bought countless bags there over the years, and right now they seem to have a particularly good selection. Honestly, if you haven`t been to Winners before, you should really go. Its probably my favourite store.

purses

My four favourites – 1. Linea Pelle Collection- Dylan $245.00 regular $185.00 sale   2. Steve Madden studded tote $118.00 regular $69.99 sale  3. Olivia & Joy forest green messenger back with chain strap $89.00 regular $39.99 sale  4. Alberto de Canino white leather envelope clutch with tassels $110.00 regular $44.00 sale. I so badly wanted the coral tote, the leather was SUCH great quality and it has the cutest zebra print lining. You guys should be proud, I walked away.

The only problem with shopping sans-wallet at Winners is that you can almost be certain that if you go back, unless its the very next day, its likely already gone. If I wasn’t on a student budget, the burgundy and the gold skinnies would be mine, as would the mint top, the heart sweater, the coral bag and the white clutch. It seems like whenever you go out intending to buy nothing that you find all the best things!

I couldn’t resist the little cut out shorts (I mean for $10!!!), so I continue to have an unresolved spending problem, but at least I look good doing it! I also exchanged a scarf I was given for Christmas that turned out to be stained and picked out this beautiful cream infinity cowl from Purr, with Calgary locations in Kensington, 17th Avenue and The Core Downtown. I love it, infinity scarves are my go to and I realized at the beginning of winter that I must have lost my old white one, so I’m thrilled to have scored such an upgrade.

infinity scarf, cowl, white, knit

xo, a

Responsibility for the Land

I posted back in November about how busy I was working with my mom, well this is  what we were up to! I would love it if you would take the time to check it out and learn a thing or two. My mother was invited as a speaker for a Conversation on Fracking at Augustana University in Camrose, Alberta.

“With an assembly of experts, landowners and industry representatives, our aim is to foster constructive dialogue that will enable Albertans to manage our resources wisely.”

Full list of Presenters and other presentations from November 2-3, 2012

The youtube video of Fiona’s presentation goes with a PowerPoint, available for download here. Alternately  for your convenience, I have included the slides in the correct order below the embeded video- important slides have noted the time they are referenced. You don’t get to see the fancy animation I put in, but it is a little simpler to click through while watching the presentation.

Be sure to check out Dr. Karlis Muehlenbachs who also spoke over the weekend and  is referenced in Fiona Lauridsen’s presentation. His expertise was crucial in helping unravel the questionable science of Dr. Alec Bylth from the Alberta Research Council, who’s report was the basis for Alberta Environment’s decision to absolve Encana of any responsibility for the contamination in our water well, as there was NO EVIDENCE OF GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION.

My mom also references Jessica Ernst in her presentation, its really because of Jessica that we were able to find out so much information about Hydraulic Fracturing and the dangers; she and my mother worked side by side for years to figure out what happened to the aquifer in Rosebud. Another affected neighbour, Mrs. Signer, who’s well is referenced in the presentation, reports and slides; moved away from the area, selling her B&B because she no longer had safe water.

Jessica Ernst is taking legal action a multi-million dollar lawsuit accuses EnCana, Alberta Environment and Energy Resources Conservation Board of negligence and unlawful activities. For her stand against fracking, Jessica was honored by the UN with the International Women of Courage Award in October of last year.

UNANIMA International Woman of Courage Award

NEW YORK, NY (October 1, 2011) UNANIMA International, UN Economic and Social Council accredited NGO working for international justice at the United Nations celebrates 10th Anniversary Saturday icts by presenting icts WOMAN OF COURAGE annual award to Jessica Ernst of Rosebud, Alberta , Internationally known for her efforts to hold companies accountable for environmental harm done by “fracking”.

Ernst, a 54 year old scientist with 30 years petroleum industry experience, is Suing the Alberta government, Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and EnCana for negligence and unlawful activities.

Nearly a decade ago EnCana, one of the world’s largest natural gas producteurs, Began a risky and experimental drilling program hydraulic fracturing That Applied intense coalbed methane for shallow THROUGHOUT central Alberta. Ms. Ernst’s statement of claim EnCana broke multiple lighters That provincial laws and règlements and contaminated shallow aquifer That a Supplied drinking water to the community with natural gas Rosebud and toxic industry-related chemicals. The claim methodically reports how Alberta’s two key groundwater regulators, Alberta Environment and the ERCB, “failed to follow the investigation and enforcement processes That They HAD, established and publicized.” Have The allegations yet to be proven in court.

Hydraulic fracturing uses “brute force” to blast open oil, gas and coal formations with highly pressurized chemical fluids or gases. It is the subject of serious government investigations THROUGHOUT North America. In 2002, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment HELD Linking Water Science to Policy Workshop. The workshop report Concluded That unconventional natural gas drilling Posed a real threat to groundwater quality and quantity, and que la nation needs “baseline hydrogeological investigations … to be ble to Recognize and track groundwater contaminants.” Not Until nine years later on September 21, 2011 the Canadian government did announce That It Would initiate two studies hydraulic fracturing to determined Whether is harming the environment.

International UNANIMA thing Ms. Ernst was emperor awardee this year as a share of international icts “Water = Life” campaign. “Access to life-giving water is an essential right for all life forms,” ​​stated the UNANIMA coordinator, Catherine Ferguson. “Our members have year Have Experienced fracking safe to Their enormous fresh water supply Wherever it is Carried out. We applaud Ms. Ernst’s bravery in standing up for her rights. “

The award and a lecture by Ms. Ernst will be Given at the 10th Anniversary reception for UNANIMA International in New York at the Church Center of the United Nations, 777 UN Plaza, just across from the United Nations building on East 44th Street. The event begins at 11:00 am.

UNANIMA International 
211 East 43rd Street, Room 1207 
New York, NY 10017 
Tel :/ Fax 212-370-0075 (Office) 
http://www.unanima-international.org

As for my mom?

she pursued the matter by allowing documentary film makers to follow her on journey to uncover the truth, as told in Burning Water, featured on CBC’s The Passionate Eye. She has spoken in communities, Colleges and Universities in Southern Alberta and British Columbia. The farm featured in Burning Water was sold, but the Lauridsen family still live in the Rosebud valley, farming land just 9 miles East of the previous property. The complaint that Encana contaminated ground water was dismissed outright by the government and the community and has not been revisited. The matter for us, is closed.

The matter however is only just beginning to open up, and the truth of the matter is MORE people need to speak up when government refuses to reign in industry because of their own capitalistic motivations. At the end of the presentation my mom mentions that they are streamlining regulations to allow industry even LESS ACCOUNTABILITY. This is happening in Alberta right now!

Rachel Notley, the MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona and a long-standing labour and environment advocate, spoke at the conference and urged Albertan’s to stand up and vote against the conservative government who continue to allow the Oil and Gas companies to drill unchecked and self-regulated.

The damage from fracking has ALREADY been done, there is no longer a question about it. The question remains, how are we going to fix the damage we have done, and how can we prevent such harm in the future?

The answer is simple, and yet, we are told economically impossible; end reliance on fossil fuels.

your interest in this matter is of the utmost importance, and i thank you. xo, aiyana.

Mini Avocado Omelette

Start your day off right with this healthy breakfast.

One of my favourite foods is avocado- yummy and its SO good for you! They are packed with more than 25 essential nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, copper, iron, phosporus, magnesium, and potassium, avocados also contain fiber, protein and help protect against various disease and illness. more

 

1 avocado + 1 egg + spices to taste + cheese + salsa

  • First cut your avocado in half, I saved the second half to use later- avocados will turn brown once exposed to air, prevent this by dripping lemon juice onto it, and covering in saran wrap, as air tight as you can get it.
  • Score the flesh using a knife, using your fingers to pull the skin open
  • Whisk up the egg mixture- I used an egg, chili powder, basil, oregano & salt
  • Pour the mixture into the scored avocado half. One egg makes enough to fill two avocado halves. I used a cupcake wrapper to prevent spillage.
  • Broil on high in the oven for ~5 minutes, then take it out and poke the inside down to test if its cooked. I hate runny eggs, and with this method the top cooks and underneath its still raw,poke it down so that it will cook more evenly, then top with cheese and broil for another 5 minutes or so.
  • If its still a little under-cooked for your liking, zap it in the microwave for 15 seconds, then the inside will cook in no time at all.

Top avocado omlette with salsa and enjoy

AVOCADO OMELETTE topped with mozza & salsa

Want a simpler option? Just crack an egg directly into the avocado & bake.

 I’m a bit particular when it comes to eggs- taste wise I don’t even really like them, I find the yoke tastes too strongly which is why I always scramble my eggs with tons of spices, and don’t even get me started on the runny egg texture, yuck! With the right flavorings though, this makes a delicious, easy, healthy and filling meal.

Don’t be afraid of the high-fat content in avocados, they contain the GOOD fats that your body needs, and provide a big boost of protein to fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied. Skip the cheese if you want to cut some extra calories, but I personally love dairy products and would rather just not worry about it and enjoy the melty, cheesy goodness.

xo, aiyana

Blogger inspirations

The best part of blogging is finding a community full of INSPIRING and INTERESTING people!

these are a few of my favorite blogs to follow.

{photos link to outfit details}

Emma + Elise at  A BEAUTIFUL MESS

Elsie and Emma, A beautiful mess

   I love reading this blog, and it makes me SO wish I had a sister to be blogging buddies with. They both have such great, quirky style and so many interesting insights. It’s a relatable and helpful blog based on finding beauty in the every day and the imperfect. Click the photo to read about Elsie and Emma.

shea marie at PEACE LOVE SHEA

cheyenne meets chanel

Shea Marie is one of those girls that you just wish you could step into her shoes for a day. Her blog follows her transition from a small town to a big city, a willowy blonde living in Hollywood, with that California cool girl style that I absolutely covet. I’ve posted before about how different my style would be if I didn’t live in a country that shorts are only  really wearable for 3 months of the year. I love reading her blog and pretending that one day I’ll move to Hollywood and be a stylist, and a writer and go to fancy parties in leopard shorts because its warm enough to do that!

jessie kass at SEAMS FOR A DESIRE

jessie kassIf you have Pinterest, you’ve probably seen her outfits. I love this blog for inspiration, every outfit she posts is so chic and she is a master accessorizer. I’d die for a chance to raid her jewelry collection (who am I kidding, her whole closet) and I have some serious hair envy, why can’t mine be that long? She always balances textures, fits, colors and prints in her looks and comes up with something beautiful and interesting. Her latest post promised Q&A and i’m super excited for the answers to come, so I can read all about this girl I worship from afar!

taralynn mcnitt at UNDRESSED SKELETON

https://i1.wp.com/media.tumblr.com/tumblr_medevr4foy1qgeygd.jpg

Taralynn’s blog is so inspirational, about healthy living, change and fitness. Click the photo for her story, its unbelievable. I love her blog for recipes she has a ton of great ideas for healthy meals that are still yummy!

wendy nguyen at WENDYS LOOKBOOK

https://i0.wp.com/www.wendyslookbook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Play-It-Again-16-433x650.jpg

Wendy’s style is so beautifully feminine, I love perusing her blog for polished city style. Click the photo for more outfit details- its funny that she mentions wishing for fall, as I dream of the LA weather she enjoys! We always want what we do not have. She always looks so perfectly put together, and is so driven, smart and talented. I love her view on fashion, and admire her strength. Read her story here.

andrea at  ANDREA RUNGHOLM.DK

andrea rungholm blonde danish gold khaki style

Andrea has always been a passionate, outgoing and energetic girl, who is wise and mature beyond her years. I must admit, this one has a little bias behind it. Andrea and I are related.. usually for simplicity’s sake I say we’re cousins but she’s actually my dad’s cousin’s daughter so I have no idea what the proper name for our somewhat distant relation is. She lives in Denmark, so we rarely see each other, but she stayed with our family and went to school here for a few months, and it was almost like having a sister. . I love her blog for fitness inspiration, and wish she didn’t live in Denmark so I could benefit from her cooking, since even when she stayed with us years ago she was already a master in the kitchen! She also always looks super chic and shops at affordable stores like Zara and H&M.

I miss her lots, I feel like she’s the sister I never had and hate being separated by an ocean! She’s very smart and I wanted to share her latest post because it’s the kind of thing that makes me think we are sister’s from different mothers! (Since I’m sure my mother would say the same as hers, and I would have the same rebuttal!)

On blogging:

” I believe that, overall, are three positions for it to have a blog. As the first, “What is the purpose and why should some bother looking images of what she has for breakfast?” The other, “Blogs are so inspiring and you get so many tips, tricks and I love reading blogs.” The third reason relates a part of those who read my blog through postings on Facebook because they know me,  “The fact that blogging is a waste of time and you do not get the right picture to the blogger”.  I think in some cases that many bloggers do those things. –  makes two breakfasts, one to the blog and you actually eat. Shows that you’ve got something sponsored whatever it is, tampons, just because you have got it for free. When you have a blog, you have 100% control over how you want to present themselves and how the blog should be. You can make up his own little world. In some cases, an blogger a very misleading picture of themselves – whether it is because you want to be someone else or you want attention, is so different. Some time ago my mother asked me: “Why do you never photos of your messy room? So it does not seem so perfect all the time and your readers might real with a little more to you? “. I could take a picture of you when my apartment fiddling very most and I could easily take a picture for you right when I’m just waking up and looks like something you’d think would never get to see normally again. I can see that it will give you a picture of that I am down to earth and I do not distort my life into something it is not, but what would the purpose just so be it? There is certainly no one wants to see pictures of an apartment cluttering and even fewer than none at all, who wants to see me tomorrow really ugly? It may be it gives a few good laughs, but it gives when absolutely no inspiration. The purpose of my blog is to give good tips, recipes and outfits that can inspire others. Not to make myself as something I’m not; without sounding too self-centered, I am happy for who I am, what I have and as I look. The bottom line is that I hope you see me as an honest blogger and I enjoy reading my blog. “

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE BLOGS IN THE COMMENTS & streamline your blog reading :

download google chrome
this fast free web browser can translate almost  anything, i love that i can read blogs from across the world, even if the translation isn’t perfectly accurate.
sign up for bloglovin
a super easy way to scroll through your favourite blogs and websites like you scroll through your facebook news feed.

xo, a

What I Wore- Job Interview

On Saturday I had an interview at Sephora! It went really well, and afterwards I handed out a few more resumes, then walked into a restaurant and got hired after an on the spot interview- its a good thing I was already in the zone!

A big part of being able to rock an interview is being confident in what you’re wearing and dressing for the position you want! The perfect blazer, fitted black pants, boots and a white blouse are a fool proof combination! Generally when going for interviews I stick to a black, white and grey pallet, with a pop of color- in this case red! Its almost always better to be too dressy than too casual, I also like to wear my hair up, otherwise I find I nervously play with it! Try a sock bun for a cute and polished look. 

The bag I’m carrying is my latest indulgence. When I found a Michael Kors in a consignment store for only $70 I had to have it! Especially since I had recently decided I needed a good quality purse that works for every day. This one was it, perfect size, perfect everything. I love the quilting and the antiqued gold finishing.

 -WHAT I WORE –

Earrings, Pashmina, Blouse, Boots, Blazer & Bangle – Le Chateau

Purse – Michael Kors -Thrifted

Pants – XXI Forever

– xo, a