Summer Outfits

In today’s post I’m sharing some of my favorite summer outfits and pieces that I’m loving right now.

Happy Friday! I know that this is a long weekend for many people in the United States, so I hope you’re able to take advantage of an extra day off. This week has been a busy one for me between appointments and errands that I had to get done. I’ve been working on a mini bedroom makeover so that’s also taken up a big chunk of my time over the past two weeks. I’m hoping to share an update on the blog soon, so be on the look out for that.

Today I’m featuring some cute clothes that are perfect for summer. With all of the cold weather we get here in Calgary, I’m all about embracing the warm weather and sunshine. I think it feels especially good because of the dreary winter months. It feels so good to be able to pare down the layers. I’m all about being comfortable as much as possible – especially at home – so I’ve gone with items that look comfortable as well as look good.

Blue & white skirt // Dress // Striped shorts

Denim jacket // Necklace // Bracelet // Wedges // Shirt

Straw bag // Gingham bracelet // Belt

It’s nice to be able to transition to lighter colors and fabrics. Linen is super cool on those really hot days. Wearing skirts, dresses, and shorts feels so good too. There’s something said for feeling the sunshine on your legs. I tend to gravitate towards more cold colored accessories during the summer as well, which shows up in the things that I’ve shared in this post. For more of my fashion posts, click here.

Does it feel like summer where you live? What’s your favorite piece of summer clothing?

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5 At Home Workouts with Dumbbells

In today’s post I’m sharing a round up of 5 at home workouts you can do with dumbbells.

This is going to be a short week for me because of the Victoria Day long weekend. It’s the unofficial start of summer here in Canada, thought it didn’t feel very summer like. We got rain off and on on both Sunday and Monday. Although it wasn’t perfect weather wise, I still got outside a few times, including once to make s’mores in our backyard fire pit. It’s been years since I last had a roasted marshmallow. It was delicious – better than I remembered. I need to make sure I have them more often. I’m a bit rusty when it comes to roasting marshmallows. I have to work on my technique. I was aiming for perfectly golden brown, but instead ended up with a few black spots instead. Whoops.

I’m sure I’m not the only one still working out at home due to the pandemic. Gyms are currently closed here in Alberta, so that means that at home workouts are what I and my fellow Albertans are doing right now. Just because you’re working out at home though, doesn’t mean that you won’t get the same quality of workout compared to the gym. Dumbbells are a really great, versatile pieces of equipment that you can do a ton of different exercises with.

If you’re in the market for dumbbells, I like these ones (affiliate link) from Amazon. They come in a variety of weights and dumbbells are super versatile. You can do lots of different exercises with them, which is really nice if you’re still working out at home like I am.

  • For those of you who may be new to fitness or coming back to it after some time off, this at home workout for beginners is great. It features exercises that are either body weight or only require dumbbells. It’s a full body workout so you can get all the major body parts in just one workout.
  • If you’re short on time but still want to get in a great workout, this 24 minute at home workout is perfect for you. Once again it’s a full body workout, so you’ll get upper body, lower body, and core work in.
  • If you’re looking for a workout to do at home that focuses on the upper body, then check out this upper body at home workout. It’s broken down into 4 circuits, each one containing a couple upper body moves and a cardio exercise. Workouts that contain both strength training and cardio elements are my favorites on days when I’m not sure what kind of workout I want to do.
  • If you’re looking for a workout that focuses on the lower body, then try out this at home leg workout. In addition to a set of dumbbells, you’ll also need something sturdy to step up onto like a bench.
  • Lastly, here’s a 30 minute HIIT workout that is great if you’re wanting a workout that will raise your heart rate while also being quick. It’s another full body workout that includes both upper and lower body exercises.

What’s your favorite dumbbell exercise? Let me know in the comments below.

As always, talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. Modify these workouts as needed for you and your body.

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Spotify Workout Playlist

I’m sharing an all new Spotify workout playlist today on the blog.

Hello and happy Wednesday! I’m looking forward to this weekend because it’s a long weekend here in Canada due to Victoria Day on Monday. It’s the unofficial start of summer here just like the Memorial Day weekend in the US. Rain is in the forecast for Monday, but I’m going to be making the best of the long weekend and spend as much time as I can outside.

Below I’m sharing a Spotify workout playlist. I’ve subscribed to Spotify for a few years now and it’s worth the money for me. I can download playlists and podcasts for when I’m out and about and don’t have access to wifi. I also don’t have to listen to ads and I can skip as many songs as I want. It’s my favorite app to use to listen to music and listen to podcasts.

I included a variety of new and old favorites in this playlist. It includes songs from Maroon 5, The Weeknd, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga. Here’s the songs that I included in this month’s Spotify workout playlist:

  • Poker Face – Lady Gaga
  • Black Hole – Griff
  • Save Your Tears – The Weeknd
  • Lean on Me – Cheat Codes
  • Run – OneRepublic
  • My Head & My Heart – Ava Max
  • Get Away – Karl Wolf
  • Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5
  • Levitating – Dua Lipa
  • Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
  • Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
  • Dark Horses – Katy Perry
  • Prisoner – Miley Cyrus
  • Disturbia – Rihanna

You can find the playlist on Spotify here. If you’re looking for a pair of wireless earbuds, I love my Anker ones (affiliate link). I got them as a Christmas gift a few years ago and still love them. They’re perfect for the gym – they connect to my phone via Bluetooth so I don’t have to worry about being attached to my phone while working out.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog – I appreciate it!

Friday Favorites: Notion + Vaccines

In today’s blog post I’m sharing a few of my favorite things from the past week.

Notion

Notion has been on my radar since last summer, but I didn’t start using it regularly until a few months ago. Now that I’ve gotten it figured out and the set up that works best for me I love it!

If you haven’t heard of Notion before, it’s a everything from a to do list to a place to take notes to list resources. It’s super versatile and you can design yours exactly how you like with no coding knowledge. It’s a bit tough to explain, but that’s only because it’s so versatile. I use it for everything from appointment reminders, a content calendar for all of my blogging and social media posts, a list of books that I’ve read, and even a calendar. If you’re interested be sure to check out Notion videos on YouTube. There’s a ton there and they give you a great idea on all the different ways that you can use Notion.

Vaccine

I’ve been waiting to become eligible to get my vaccine in the province I live in, and that finally happened last week. I channeled all of my Ticket Master skills (I managed to get tickets to see both Adele and U2 on their sold out tours) and managed to get myself a vaccine appointment pretty quick, despite having a few appointments fall through. Even though vaccines are being administered by Alberta Health Services, pharmacies, and some doctor’s offices, they were being snapped up really fast – particularly in Calgary where I live. On Sunday morning I headed out to an AHS vaccine clinic and got mine. I told the nurse who gave it to me that I had never been more excited to get a vaccine in my life. Second doses will start to be given out in June (fingers crossed) so I’m looking forward to getting my second one this summer.

As far as side effects that I experienced, I was a bit nauseas for the first 36 to 48 hours afterwards, and my arm was pretty sore for the next few days. The side effects weren’t bad at all and I’d much rather deal with those than Covid.

While I know that it’ll take a few weeks for immunity to develop, it’s a huge relief to know that I’m one step closer to achieving it. Also, the above post vaccine selfie was taken in my car in the parking lot because I felt self conscious taking a selfie in the waiting area after I got it.

Lance Armstrong podcast

If you’ve read my blog for awhile you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of podcasts. While I’ve been listening to American Scandal for about a year now, I’m really enjoying their latest series on Lance Armstrong. Each topic that American Scandal tackles has a series of 4 or 5 podcast episodes. They’re done really well and are easy to listen to – or if you’re like me – binge listen to. A couple other favorite stories from American Scandal are Big Tobacco, Bernie Madoff, and Waco.

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What I Read in April 2021

Today I’m sharing the books that I read over the past month.

I read 7 books this month! Usually I average one per week, but apparently I was in a reading mood in April. This month I read 2 books by Jennifer McMahon and 2 books by Harlan Coben. I was in the mood for thrillers and mysteries. I finished off the month with a classic that I’d never read before.

The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben

This was the first book by Harlan Coben that I’ve read, and it was a good introduction because I really enjoyed it. The Boy From The Woods (affiliate link) was an easy to read, fun thriller that kept my attention throughout the whole book. I kept telling myself I’d only read one more chapter, but then I’d have to read just one more. While I thought that the ending was a bit rushed, overall I’m glad that I read it.

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

I found that The Winter People (affiliate link) was a mystery with a little bit of paranormal thrown in. I really liked it, so much in fact that I read another book by her later on in the month. Once again this was a new author to me and I’m excited to read more books from her. I can’t be the only one who’s happy when they discover a new author that they enjoy.

The Lake House by Kate Morton

I’ve read quite a few books by Kate Morton over the years, and I found The Lake House (affiliate link) to be just as good as the other ones I’ve read. I always like to try to figure out the endings of books – especially if they’re mysteries or thrillers. I wasn’t able to do it with this book. Everything I’d come up with a new theory, a plot twist would make it impossible to happen.

The Stranger by Harlan Coben

The second book by this author that I read, I really liked this one too. It took me a few chapters to get into The Stranger (affiliate link), but once the story got started rolling it was tough to put down. I was a bit disappointed with the ending for one of the characters – it was never really resolved and left me feeling like it wasn’t completely over. Maybe he’s planning to write a sequel.

Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks

This is the second book by Heidi Perks that I’ve read. I like Three Perfect Liars (affiliate link) just as much as Her One Mistake. Three Perfect Liars follows the stories of three female characters who are all somehow connected to a marketing firm. It was interesting to read how the author brought all three characters together by the end of the book.

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

I found The Night Sister (affiliate link) to be another book that combined mystery and paranormal together in just the right proportions. This book is about several generations of a family in a small town in Vermont. There’s several different timelines going on during the book. It was fun to read about something that was revealed in one timeline that would then have an impact on the other ones. Jennifer has written quite a few books and I’m looking forward to reading more of them.

The Turn of the Screw

The last book that I read this month was The Turn of the Screw (affiliate link). It’s actually more of a novella – it was less than 130 pages. This is the first classic that I’ve read in awhile, and the first book by Henry James. I was really looking forward to it, thinking that it would be similar to The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get into The Turn of the Screw. It was tough for me to understand at points and just took a whole lot of brain power to try to follow what was happening. I was thinking that there would be a few scary and creepy parts, but there weren’t.

I originally wanted to read The Turn of the Screw because there’s a show on Netflix called The Haunting of Bly Manor which is based on it. I’d watched about half of the episodes before I started reading the book. For once I liked the TV adaptation more than the book. That doesn’t usually happen.

What have you been reading lately? Have any recommendations for me?

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog. I really appreciate it!

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