fitness fridays: 01


it’s so funny the journey life takes you on. it sounds silly to say, but i never imagined a healthy lifestyle being such an important part of my life. hearing all of your feedback on my last two year of discovery posts has inspired me to create a new column called fitness fridays. i wanted to share even more about my health and wellness journey, sharing everything from workout tips to recipes and more! what do you guys think??

to kick off the series, i wanted to talk about how to start, which sounds really simple in theory, but sometimes starting can be the hardest part.

+ find your reasons:  your motivations behind wanting to change your lifestyle or start a fitness plan can make or break your success. in the past, when i attempted something new i found my reasoning being 90% about others and 10% about myself. my drive (or lack there of) came from wanting to change how i thought people saw me. it wasn’t about a lifestyle change, or feeling healthy – it was about feeling better about how i thought i was viewed. this caused me to want instant results, and when i didn’t get them i quit. this time round i can honestly say my reasoning behind wanting this change is 110% about myself. i’m not doing it for anyone else. as soon as i realized that i wanted this change for my life, it became easy to modify my mindset.

+ listen to your body: either way, starting a new fitness routine is typically out of your comfort zone, and that’s a good thing – but you also have to remember your limitations. be aware of your current fitness level and push yourself, but listen to your body to know when you’re pushing yourself too far. injury can set you back immensely – physically and mentally. the whole point is to take care of your body, so remember to treat it right and know that it’s okay to start small.

+ take tiny steps at first: this doesn’t always work for everyone, but i found that taking small steps to start made it easier for me to break bad habits. when i started eating healthier, i cut out bits of bad food at a time instead of just going cold turkey. in addition, when i started working out, i started really small with easy workouts on the nike app or using our elliptical. i saw it get really easy to continue with these new habits and build up to pushing myself further. it’s all about finding your groove and what works best for you.

+ form is key: when starting any kind of workout, whether it’s yoga or a cardio challenge, you have to find your form first. improper form can lead to injuries or lack of results because you aren’t doing the move properly. try working out in front of a mirror so you can make sure your form is correct before diving into the workout.

+ stay inspired: this time round, i’ve found looking at different transformations or fitness blogs and grammers have helped me immensely. now i’m not talking looking at pictures of the body you want all day because i don’t find that helpful at all. comparing yourself is the worst thing you can do for your success. trust me. use these inspirational tools as a message to yourself that you can do it. you are no different than any one of those that inspire you, your journey is just unique. you can have the body and health you want, you just have to stay motivated and work for it. here is a few of my favourite motivational people:

yoga by candace: blog | instagram
healthy living dreams: instagram instagram
amy silverman fitness: instagram
nike women: instagram
hello natural: blog
kristin sundberg: blog


the biggest thing to remember is that if you want to make a change, you just have to start somewhere! you can also find daily motivation on my new fitness pinterest board! feel free to follow along here. hopefully this will offer some inspiration to y’all this friday, and please let me know your thoughts on the new series and if there’s anything you’d like to see! happy weekend folks!!

if it’s in your mind


it was the boyfriend’s birthday this week and he really wanted to get a tattoo for it (his first!!), so i drew something up for him and we’ve got a consultation later this month! sitting there drawing it, it really made me miss drawing again. i had totally forgotten the feeling of drawing just because i felt like it. so this week i decided to carve out a little bit of time to get back into it. for whatever reason, i really wanted to draw a skull so i did! i stumbled on these amazing geometric tattoos and was inspired to create this design with the deer skull i drew and a photograph from our trip to invermere as a little reminder to keep creating things just because. let’s get wildly creative y’all! 


feel free to grab a wallpaper for your desktop or iphone!
download: desktop  |  iphone

moodboard: modern botanical


i am really excited about this project that i’ve been working on with the company i work remotely for. i fell madly in love with the moodboard and direction we are headed in, i just had to share it with y’all. it’s no secret i have a serious plant obsession, so this project is absolute heaven for me. we are going for a really clean, modern approach, while keeping the gardening theme at the forefront of the brand. i am super excited to dive in! hope you all have a wonderful weekend. stay inspired!

instant-loves: 09



it’s been so long since i’ve posted a round up of my favourite grammers. instragram has become a serious obsession for me (aka i follow soo many people). i am just constantly amazed at the talent, connections and breathtaking images. i swear it gets better and better everyday. it’s an endless source of inspiration. here is a few of my favourites as of late. get ready to be inspired and bit by the wanderlust bug! 


one | @kylehouck | seattle based photographer and videographer (seriously amazing images).

two | @lizballmaier | orange county talent!

three | @wildrecollection | travel and refection from vancouver, bc.

four | @freerishad | vancouver photographer.

five | @sailawaywithme | another vancouver based talent! such an absolutely beautiful feed!!

six | @benjaminholtrop | photographer, art director founder, and brand director from portland.

year of discovery 02: motivation


a few weeks ago, i wrote a post about my recent mindset transformation towards fitness and eating healthy. firstly, i just want to say a big thank you for all your words of encouragement. it was awesome to know that so many of you related and got some motivation from my words : ) so thank YOU! secondly, i had mentioned in the post about a series of fortunate events that had really set things into motion for me and a few of you said you’d like to hear what those events were so i thought i’d share that today along with a little update on my journey, as well as some tools and tips to help you!

as i mentioned last post, the series of events started with my decision to eat healthier starting january 01. with a lot of determination to not make it a new years resolution, but more a fresh start, i kept in the back of my head constantly how the crappy food made me feel and it was surprisingly really easy to make that transition. at that point my mindset towards fitness was still ‘meh’ and i wasn’t really feeling it. the first of the events was a photo that a family member had taken of me and posted to facebook. i did not like what i saw at all. it was a wake up call of sorts for me that i was so ashamed that i didn’t even want people to see the photo. i know that it is not about the perfect body or adhering to society’s standards of the “perfect” body, but deep down i did not feel okay with how i looked. it wasn’t even just the weight factor either, i looked tired and unhealthy. of course everyone gets a photo taken of themselves once and a while that they aren’t fond of, but this was more than that to me i guess. it really shook me to my core.

the second of the events was a snowboard trip with my company’s christmas party. i hadn’t been out in almost a year and not being very active, it was harder on my body than it used to be. that only pushed me more because this is the sport that i genuinely love and if i couldn’t even do that anymore, well that really bummed me out. so instead of letting it get me down that it was more challenging, i rose to the challenge and pushed my legs as hard as i could. i sort of surprised myself and i kept thinking how awesome it is that our bodies are capable of being challenged like this. the other event happened on the same trip: sitting, dipping my feet in a hot tub with everyone thinking how uncomfortable i was in my own skin. it occurred to me in that moment that i had spent so much time feeling uncomfortable that it had almost become comfortable. it had become a knee jerk reaction to just feel crappy about myself and the way i felt i looked instead of realizing that i have the power to change it. and why was that? why did i think it was okay to continue to feel bad about myself and spend so much time worrying about what others thought or saw, rather than changing what i think and see? again, it’s not about the “perfect” body, to me it’s solely about feeling good, physically and mentally. i think i had spent so much time feeling bad that i didn’t see there was a way out and it was all in my hands. if i wanted to change what i felt when i looked in the mirror, it was completely and utterly possible, i just had to change my mindset.


the next event was later that week when i went on a little day trip for a instagram meet up. we ended up driving around exploring a bit, taking lots of photos and then stopping to hike this small, but fairly steep mountain. being not a fit person, i was struggling at the steep parts. but i thought back to earlier on in the week when i pushed my body snowboarding and decided not to give up. i almost stopped about a third from the top, but i thought to myself ‘you’re nearly to the top, just hang in there it’ll be so worth it!’  and worth it it was. there is something really magical about the rewards that come when you push your limits.

driving home from the meet, i really reflected on these past events and that’s when the transformation of my mindset towards fitness really changed. i thought about all these things and how it’s all so plausible – eating better, getting fit and enjoying it, feeling better about my body, working towards a goal. it was all completely doable things, but before it seemed like an unreachable mountain that i would walk up and give up a third of the way to the top if i didn’t see immediate results. so somewhere inside of me, i made a conscious decision that i was going to do this, no more excuses. excuses and fear were the two things that were holding me back the most, and i decided to leave them on that mountain top. my motivation had become not just a physical change, but a mental transformation and a lifestyle change. because i could. because anyone can! it just takes looking inside of you and finding that warrior that’s going to conquer excuses, fear, body shame and feeling lousy.

the last few weeks have been enormous in my transformation. i have seen myself stay true to my promises and continue to work towards my goals. i’ve become really enthralled in the whole thing! this coming monday, i will start a new fitness plan as well as a bit of a eating lifestyle change (updates to come!) and i could not be more excited! there’s been a lot that has helped me stay motivated and on the right path, so today i wanted to share a few tips and links that have helped me along the way. please let me know if you guys have any questions or anything you want to know! i’m by no means an expert, but i’m learning as i go and sharing what i’ve learnt so far.


the nike+ training app
you guys, this app has changed my life. before starting this, i never knew what i was doing with workouts. i felt like it was totally pointless because i felt clueless and didn’t want to fork over the $$$$ for a personal trainer. i felt helpless. but somehow i got introduced to this amazing app (which is totally free BTW) and let me tell you, these workouts are challenging! it’s great too because you can easily choose what your goals are and choose workouts that are totally feasible to your skill level. and bonus: you barely need any equipment to do the workouts.
tips to using the app
+ if you’re new to most kinds of physical activity and your goal is to loose weight start with the “get lean – beginner” option. work your way through those workouts until you feel comfortable stepping it up with the “intermediate or advanced”.
+ make sure to choose a different work out every day so your body doesn’t get used to one thing. this makes a huge difference with weight loss.

the nice thing about working out at home is that it barely costs anything. a gym membership can be pretty pricey and if you’re anything like me, you feel lost and judged at the gym. there’s a few things i recommend buying for your at home “gym” to make things a little easier.
+ good quality runners: so important. when i started working out, i had cheap $20 runners from wal-mart and because of my past knee injuries and flat-footedness, i found my knees getting really sore without the support and i was getting tired really quickly. some people prefer working out barefooted too, which is totally cool, but if you’re like me and can’t, invest in some good runners. it changed everything for me.
+ support: this ones for the girls – take care of ‘em ladies! sounds obvious, but make sure you have a good sports bra. i can’t emphasize this enough. i had cheap quality ones when i started and it made it painful to do some of the exercises. i grabbed a few inexpensive quality ones from forever 21 and it has made a huge difference. make sure you grab high-impact ones.
+ light weights: the nike+ app uses light weights in some workouts. for weight loss you don’t need to lift crazy heavy weight because you’re not trying to bulk up. you can get a cheap pair at wal-mart or i grabbed the jogi by joe fresh weights at superstore.
+ medicine ball: the app also uses a medicine ball in some workouts. you can get a cheap one at wal-mart or again the jogi brand at superstore is awesome!
+ yoga mat: depending on the workouts you like to do, a mat or towel can add that extra cushion to make sure your back, arms and knees are properly supported.

yoga at home
i haven’t had a chance to try this one out, but it’s been all the buzz on the interwebs lately. yoga with adriene is a youtube channel full of different at home yoga sessions from beginner to advanced. if you try it or have tried it already, let me know what you think!

drink more water
enough said. if you’re loosing hydration from exercising, make sure to replenish your body by drinking more water. try starting the day with a few cups of cold water instead of jumping right into the coffee, and keep a water bottle or glass with you during the day to remember to give your body the hydration it needs.

stay off the scale
i used to focus all my energy on the number on the scale, which would make me give up easily if it didn’t change right away. the truth is when you start exercising and eating differently, your body adapts and it takes time. exercising also builds muscle, which equals weight, so the number on the scale isn’t an accurate measurement of the fat you’ve lost. instead of stepping on the scale, grab a fabric measuring tape and take your measurements either once a week or once a month (make sure to write them down). this will give you a more accurate reading of the fat you’ve lost and will help you to stay motivated! it also helps to take before and after pictures weekly, or monthly. you really do start to see changes in your body that you wouldn’t if you only focus on the scale.


a good playlist
music is a big factor in keeping me motivated when i start to get tired during a workout, so i’ve put together a playlist for you guys of some of the music that gets me pumped up! please excuse my choices as they are all over the place genre wise, but it makes for a great soundtrack to your sweat fest! 

02+  numb/encore | COLLISION COURSE
03+  hollow moon (bad wolf) AWOLNATION
04+  the girl is mine | MICHAEL JACKSON with WILL.I.AM
05+  don’t stop till you get enough | MICHAEL JACKSON
06+  feel the love | RUDIMENTAL FT. JOHN NEWMAN 
07+  love runs out (grabbitz remix) ONE REPUBLIC
08+  wild eyes BROILER FT. RAVVEL
09+  doin’ it right | DAFT PUNK
10+  absolution calling | INCUBUS
12+  elastic heart | SIA
13+  got love | TOVE LO
14+  loose yourself to dance | DAFT PUNK
15+  speeding | LIGHTS
16+  i bet my life (alex adair remix) | IMAGINE DRAGONS
17+  talking body | TOVE LO
18+  sugar | MAROON 5
19+  thrash unreal | AGAINST ME!
20+  my songs know what you did in the dark | FALL OUT BOY
21+  now i’m all messed up | TEGAN & SARA
22+  second go | LIGHTS
23+  waves | MR. PROBZ FT. CHRIS BROWN & T.I.
24+  how to love | LIL WAYNE


listen on rdio or 8tracks.


recent work: boutiq weddings & events

Launched-BoutiqWeddingsAndEvents-NorthridgePhotography-2Launched-BoutiqWeddingsAndEvents-Bi am so thrilled to be finally sharing the launch of a new project from my design studio hatch & harbour with y’all! as some of you may already know, my mom is a wedding planner here in calgary and for the past 5 years or so, has been running her own wedding planning business under the name always alexandra’s weddings. over the past few months, we have been planning and strategizing to launch her rebranding under a new name. as the business has been growing quite quickly, it was definitely time for a refresh and re-organization of the brand, thus boutiq weddings & events was born!


the new brand represents the transformation this business has taken over the past few years. it has quickly grown to be elegant, timeless, romantic, refined, unique, and charming — just like your favourite boutique. i wanted the brand to be just that: elegant, timeless and romantic while still maintaining the professionalism that has always been at the forefront of the business. it was an absolute joy to take on this project for someone so near and dear to my heart, not to mention all the amazing photography i got to work with for the website (like the photos above by one of my new fav photographers: nate northridge)

Launched-BoutiqWeddingsAndEvents-Home Launched-BoutiqWeddingsAndEvents-Vendors

the website was so much fun to work on! it was wonderful to have full creative freedom and such great content to work from. the brand was easily built consistently and simplistically. i adored the minimalism of the whole thing and the fun colours made it even more enjoyable! check out the full site right here! a big shout out to all the photographers who took amazing photos of boutiq’s wedding planning details and to the programmer, adam ludgate, for his hard work on the backend development on the site. this has definitely become a favourite project of mine!


if you’re looking for design work, feel free to check out my studio hatch & harbour. we currently have availability and we’d love to work with you!


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