Harvest for Hope

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If you’re a consistent DDR reader, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I often mention Bigley Shoes and Clothing. Bigley’s is our family business, that has been around since 1911! It has been a major part of my life since the day I was born. I’ve watched it grow from two stores into nine, and become more reputable then we ever imagined. My mom and her team (which I’ve just recently joined full-time again), have done an incredible job at bringing high-end fashion to a small town. They provide amazing customer service and have truly put their heart and soul into this business. However, beyond fitting, buying, selling, merchandising, etc., we believe contributing everything we can to support our community is just as important.

For a number of years Bigley Shoes and Clothing has produced an annual event in support of the Ross Memorial Hospital Foundation. Not only does this event raise thousands of dollars for this amazing charity, it also provides a fun night of fashion, cocktails, and socializing, for women and men in and around the community.

The time has come once again for this event to take place. On Thursday, October 6th, 2016, Bigley Shoes and Clothing invites you to attend Harvest for Hope. The night consists of a delicious “Pink Carpet Dinner” and Runway Show, as well as a silent auction with numerous prizes to be won. Including a raffle prize of one pair of shoes (up to $200) every month for a year! And ALL proceeds will be going towards the Ross Memorial Hospital Breast Imaging Services. This year it is taking place at the Victoria Park Armoury in Lindsay, Ontario. Tickets are $60 per ticket, and can be purchased at bigleyshoes.com. It will most definitely be an event to remember!

Hope to see you there!

 

8 Habits of Successful Women

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I know, I know- another lifestyle post. Don’t worry fashionistas, there are still lots of fashion and beauty tips to come. I’m personally just going through a lot of lifestyle changes at this point in time, and I love sharing them with you!

My boyfriend is leaving for the army in two days, and although I’m so excited for him and what’s to come, I can’t help but be slightly nervous. He starts with basic training, and during basic training we’re only allowed to write letters for two months- no talking! So, we’ve made a pact that we’re both going to really hone in and focus on self-improvement during this time. So, I figured what better time to write a post on habits of successful women!

Creating success takes time. I’m sure many of you have heard that creating a habit takes twenty-one days, and turning that habit into a lifestyle takes ninety days. Therefore, success starts with implementing good habits on a daily basis. I’m constantly reading about successful lifestyles, good habits, and self-improvement. I’ve compiled a round-up of eight habits that will truly map the way to becoming a successful women.

Get up early. This is a hard one for me, and I’m sure there’s a few others that aren’t a fan of this idea either. However, I’ve read over and over that this is a major key to success. It’s important to take some time in the morning to get yourself set up for the day. You know the saying “woke up on the wrong side of the bed”, well this is exactly what we want to make sure doesn’t happen. Go for a walk, do yoga, meditate, listen to music, write down a few things that you’re grateful for in your journal. Use your morning for YOU time. It will make your day much more enjoyable and productive.

Write things down. By trying to remember everything you’re only making things more difficult for yourself. This is something I realized back when I was in college. I have a planner that I write everything in, from appointments to ideas to grocery lists. There’s also some great apps that you can use such as Evernote, and Google Calendar to set reminders and keep track of events and appointments.

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Focus on one thing at a time. We can’t do it all and we certainly can’t do it all at once. As women we tend to believe we’re masters at multi-tasking and we can get all this stuff done without getting drained. But, when you try to do things for your business, family, work, the house, the kids— this list goes on, you will get burnt out very quickly. Try doing your tasks in batches like this:

  1. Write all your blog posts for the week over the weekend.
  2. Make all calls after lunch.
  3. Set a time to go through and answer emails.
  4. Set a day to do laundry.

Completing tasks like this will help you from jumping from one thing to another, and ultimately be much more productive.

 Be a boss, NOT bossy. To get respect, you have to give it. Treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO. Be assertive, not aggressive. Focus on being a leader more than anything and being someone that your team can look up to and ask for help.

  • Don’t be a know-it-all.
  • Be open to suggestions and ideas from others.
  • Show others what to do instead of telling them.
  • Give direction instead of barking orders.
  • Don’t demand respect, you’ve got to earn it.
  • Never make it your mission to use people solely for who they are or who they know.
  • Develop and inspire others.

Accept criticism gracefully. Everyone isn’t going to have the best opinion about you, your business, or your work ethic. That’s life. Instead of pondering over every little negative thing people say to you, decide if it’s something you can learn from or improve upon. If not, take the critic with a smile, say thank-you, move on. The end.

Recharge. Don’t believe in the “grind now, I can sleep when I die” BULL. How can you do your best when you’re tired and drained? You simply can’t. I’ve learned this the hard way. Sleep is so important, and it tends to be the first thing we skip out on. Make sure you give yourself at least eight hours of sleep a night so you can take on the next day fully loaded.

Plan your week. Plan. Plan. Plan. Planning will create order for your life, and therefore give you sanity. Writing things down is one thing, but you have to create a plan of attack in order to get it done. Every night I take some time to review my planner, and plan for my next day. I plan what I’m going to wear, what I’m going to eat, and I create a general schedule of how my day is going to go. If you starting doing this, I promise you not only will your life feel immensely more organized, your stress levels will go way down.

Read and never stop learning. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. You can never have enough knowledge. Successful women are always looking to grow, and they never stop. Do this by reading self-improvement books, blogs, articles, attending workshops, taking an e-course etc. The more you learn, the more successful you will be.

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Remember to take baby steps. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t find yourself doing all of these things by tomorrow. Take it slow and try one new habit a day and add as you go. You’ll be an expert at productivity and creating habits to produce a successful lifestyle in no time!

 

Benefits of Matcha Tea

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As I stated in my previous post, lately I’ve been focusing on developing a healthier lifestyle, in all areas of my life. I’ve been attending yoga classes, following a consistent sleeping schedule, meditating, and detoxing my body. After dealing with many trials and tribulations over the last few years, I stopped wishing that I would one day become the woman I want to be. I simply just wake up and become her and start living the life that I imagined (corny but true).

Even if your not personally facing many challenges at this time in your life, it’s so important to take care of your mind and body, in order to continue excelling and reaching your goals.

Throughout this journey I’ve made some pretty amazing discoveries, that are extremely beneficial in supporting the body. Today I’m going to share one that has had a profound effect on my overall well-being: Matcha Tea.

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Matcha tea is a mood-enhancing, antioxidant powerhouse. It’s a natural weight loss aid, ph balancer, and detox agent. And it’s basically a sugar-free coffee alternative without the jitters. When you drink matcha you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of the nutrients of the leaf. It has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea, and countless health benefits.

Antioxidants are the body’s defence agent. They are chemical compounds that prevent aging and disease. Put simply, the more you have, the more equipped you are to fight off infections and diseases.

Here are a few other benefits matcha tea provides:

  • boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • detoxifies naturally and effectively
  • calms the mind and relaxes the body
  • is rich in fibre, chorophyll and vitamins
  • enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • prevents disease
  • lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

You can purchase matcha tea at Davids Tea. There are a few different types of matcha, however, I always buy the “ceremonial” matcha. Although it is the most expensive, it is also the most effective. I also prefer to make a matcha latte, as oppose to a matcha tea, because I prefer the creamier texture.

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6 Effective Beauty Products

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Since I’ve moved back home, I’ve finally found the time to really focus on myself, and narrow down what works effectively in my daily routine, and what doesn’t. Although this includes a very broad spectrum of forms, today I’m going to review a few beauty products that I’ve found beneficial over the pass few months, and explain why they have now become a part of my everyday routine.

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EOS Lip Balm

EOS lip balm comes in a smooth sphere for easy application that precisely glides on the lips. It has broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. In addition, it contains vitamin E, shea butter, and jojoba oil, which keeps your lips incredibly smooth. A few other reasons I love this balm is that its 100% natural flavour, it applies completely clear, its petrolatum and paraben free, gluten free, phthalate free, and its not tested on animals.

Personally, I have never been a frequent lip balm user. However, I noticed my lips getting much more dry when I moved back to Canada, after living in sunny south Florida for years. EOS lip balm has been a go-to for me. I love how it immediately moisturizes your lips, and the flavours smell pretty but aren’t overwhelming. My favourite flavours are sweet mint, coconut milk, vanilla mint, and honeysuckle.

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Yes to Grapefruit Spray Pore Minimizing Facial Toner

Another product I’ve recently found success with is this Yes to Grapefruit Toning Mist. It’s a natural toning spray (in eco-friendly packaging), that revs up radiance and reduces the look of pores. It achieves this through ingredients such as grapefruit, kakadu plum, and infusions of vitamin C. It also delivers hydration and works wonders at setting make-up. It’s smells delicious, and is 96% natural, paraben, SLS, and silicone free, and cruelty free. You simply spray the mist onto your skin anytime you need a little extra hydration and radiance. Another plus is that it’s super affordable!

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Dior Youth-Sorbet Moisturizer and Serum Sorbet

Although these aren’t recent discoveries, these two products have been life changers. I’ve mentioned the Youth-Sorbet moisturizer in a previous post but to reiterate, it’s an extremely light-weight moisturizer that envelopes the skin in softness while deeply reinvigorating and plumping the look of facial features. It does an amazing job at making your skin look awakened, softened, and healthy looking. It’s literally the only moisturizer I will use, and have been using it for the past five years.

The Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Essence is a serum the revitalizes the skin for a healthy looking finish. All you need is one drop, and it deeply reinvigorates the skin by supporting the natural circulation of water- leaving the complexion refreshed, healthy looking, and full of life. Although these items are slightly more expensive, I can’t recommend them enough. They truly do wonders for your skin.

In a self-evaluation of 64 women, aged 26-40, with twice daily application for 21 days:

  • 100% said skin is more moisturized
  • 100% said the complexion is more luminous
  • 73% said signs of fatigue are diminished

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Eucalyptus Spearmint Body Wash & Foam Bath

I’m a huge fan of bubble baths. Pouring a nice hot bath, lighting a candle, and reading a book is how I de-stress after a busy day of activities. And this foam bath is the perfect accessory for that. It is infused with soothing skin conditioners, while an aromatherapy blend of eucalyptus essential oil clears the mind, and spearmint essential oil uplifts. Again, this is not a recent discovery, I’ve been using this foam bath for a few years and I will definitely continue to do so.

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Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask

I’ve never been one to apply a mask on a regular basis, however, I recently came across this avocado and oatmeal clay mask and I have truly noticed the benefits. Its rich clay dives deep to purge dirt and oils from pores. Its nutrient-rich with vitamin E, avocado and oatmeal moisturize for lasting skin softness. After use, the skin looks and feels squeaky clean and is soft to touch. Perfect for normal to combination skin. I typically use this once or twice a week, and have noticed my skin is much more radiant after using it. It’s also very affordable.

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Beauty Smoothie Shimmer Crackling Body Mousse

I came across this product by complete fluke. I was shopping at Ulta one day and picked this up right as I was checking out. Now I’m completely obsessed. This shimmer body mousse provides a cool, crackling feel when applied, leaving the skin soft and lightly moisturized with a shimmering glow. Although it doesn’t provide a huge amount of moisture, it’s very light and refreshing on the skin.

10 Favourite Nail Colours

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One thing I’m sure most of us ladies have in common, is our love for a perfect manicure and pedicure. As much as I love getting an updated colour every couple of weeks, life doesn’t always allow for that. Sometimes I don’t have time to make it out of town that week (I’m currently living in a small town and the most convenient place to get a mani is about half an hour away). Or I simply have too many expenses that week that prevents me from being able to treat myself. That’s why, when I find a colour that I absolutely love, I usually buy it. I do this because on the weeks that I can’t get them done at a salon, I can simply do them myself. And if I have the option to go to the salon, I can always bring my favourite colour with me.

That brings me to the topic of this weeks post: my top ten favourite nail colours.

As you will notice, I’m a huge Essie fan. I find that Essie nail polish stays on for long periods of time, compared to other leading brands, and they’re consistently up to date with trending colours. If you’re on the hunt for a specific colour, definitely check out their website, essie.com. They provide a full colour guide with their lightest hues to their darkest, and everything in between. I’ve created a roundup of all of my go-to colours. Although this frequently changes by season, these colours have always been my constant staples.

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Forever Yummy

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Chillato

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After School Boy Blazer

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Mint Candy Apple, Fiji, and Bikini So Tiny

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In The Lobby

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Tart Deco

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Bell-Bottom Blues

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Sand Topez

GIFT IDEA: Chic Stationary

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I am a huge fan of surprising others with gifts, whether its their birthday, mothers day, Christmas or just a simple ‘I appreciate you’ gift. I find so much satisfaction in watching others light up with excitement.

However, I’m as guilty as the next girl when it comes to making that last minute dash to the mall. Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to spend searching for that perfect gift! So, if you’re in a bind and need a gift thats both thoughtful and exciting to receive, here is a suggestion that is a personal go-to: CHIC STATIONARY.

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Chic Stationary is currently a huge trend, and fairly easy to find. Additionally, who doesn’t love a pair of beautiful gold scissors to match their perfect gold stapler, and an equally perfect planner? It’s not a common purchase that one would buy themselves and they can give their office a little face lift, all thanks to your gift of goodies.

My moms Birthday was on August 5th. I was in the process of driving back from Florida and made a little pit-stop at Target. I found everything I needed to whip up a super cute basket of stationary. My mom is very business oriented and spends much of her days stuck in the office, so she was very excited and appreciative of this gift. I even added a matching picture frame with a photo of the two of us, which gave it a personal touch.

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Find all items at Target.com, or check out your local Marshalls or Homesense.

 

 

 

Dolly’s Top 3 Summer Reads

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As of lately I’ve been focusing on personal development and self-improvement. Reading has become part of my daily routine and has been beneficial in more ways then one.

For starters, it has been a huge stress reducer. No matter how much stress your facing in your daily life, reading transports you to other realms, distracts you and keeps you in the present moment. It has been my number one mechanism for relieving tension, and allowing me to relax.

Additionally, everything you read fills your head with new bits of information. Knowledge is one thing that can never be taken from you, and can only bring life improvements. It’s also been proven that reading spiritual books can lower blood pressure and bring a immense sense of calm, while reading self-help books has been shown to help people dealing with certain mood disorders and mild mental illnesses.

A few benefits that I have personally noticed since I’ve been digging into the books consist of a wider vocabulary, a reduction in stress, and improved focus. Not to mention, I now look forward to sitting in waiting rooms, long commutes, or any period of time that I would normally dread, as it gives me a chance to read and relax.

So far, the top three books I’ve read this summer are “You are a Badass”, by Jen Sincero, “Pretty Happy”, by Kate Hudson, and “Mastering Your Mean Girl” by Melissa Ambrosini. If you’re in the market for a few great books, I highly suggest these.

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1. You are a Badass, by Jen Sincero

You are a Badass, is all about identifying and changing the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want. It consists of a very amusing how-to guide on creating the life you want, and how to “make some damn money already”.

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2. Pretty Happy, by Kate Hudson

In Pretty Happy, Kate Hudson talks about the four pillars that ultimately lead to an overall happy life: cultivate an intuitive relationship with your body, eat well, awaken your body, and the miracle of mindfulness. She stands by the saying, “You don’t have to be perfect. Pretty happy is pretty great”.

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3. Mastering Your Mean Girl, by Melissa Ambrosini

In Mastering Your Mean Girl, Melissa Ambrosini tells you her life story and how she’s managed to create a life beyond her wildest dreams. She provides amazing advice on how to overcome that sneaky voice in your head that is constantly telling you you’re not enough- your ‘mean girl’.