shopping consciously

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as i’ve mentioned, i am all for supporting small businesses and brands with honest values and beliefs. to me, when it comes to honesty, there’s nothing more authentic than respect for the world we live in. sometimes it’s difficult to shop all of your products at once knowing each brand is supporting a socially conscious lifestyle. that’s why i was so excited when orange harp contacted me to collaborate to help get the word out there about their amazing app. if you’ve never heard of orange harp, it’s a really great app that allows you to shop several different lifestyle brands in one spot. orange harp simplifies the shopping process by offering only socially conscious brands and products. you can shop almost all your needs from anywhere! the best thing about it is that orange harp donates 1% of the revenue to a non-profit to end slavery called not for sale. in addition to that, many of the brand partners on the app donate portions of their own profits to other organizations. these brands are staying true to their intentions through and through!

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i’ve talked about my love for tradlands on here before, and i was so thrilled to see their logo pop  up on the makers section of the app. trandlands has quickly become one of my favourite brands because of their authenticity, their high quality, and most of all how they remain true to their core values. i feel proud wearing their clothes. their intentions totally fit in with orange harp and i think it’s a match made in heaven!

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another thing that i’ve been moving towards more and more the past few years since working at a hair salon and learning a little bit of the different things that can be put into personal care products, has been shopping organic products. while taking a peek at the different organic personal care products on the app, i tried out the trial versions of the gentle cleanser and lavender grains by hana organic skincare. oh my goodness, what a difference compared to some of the harsh products i’ve tried in the past. i tend to have more dry skin (especially in the winter) that can sometimes be sensitive and i found neither of these dried it out at all. the gentle cleanser is seriously a dream. it felt gentle on my skin and my face actually feel clean when i rinsed it off, instead of grimy like other skincare products. but i loved the lavender grains the most. you can use it as a face wash or as a mask. i opted for the face mask the first time i tried it and it was heavenly. not only does it smell amazing, but i was so impressed to find it didn’t dry my skin out at all! which has typically been a problem for me when it comes to face masks. my skin felt so soft after washing it off and had a nice natural glow about it to boot!

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what are some of your guyses favourite socially conscious brands?  have y’all tried orange harp yet??

get the orange harp app here
shop these products:
lavender grains  &  gentle cleanser  |  brunswick button up

year of discovery 03: when you find it

AMindThatIsStretched

among the other changes i talked about on monday’s post,were some changes to this space. over the past few weeks, with all these new things happening in my life, it took me to re-think my blog a bit and take a look at my content, passions and the things i feel have been carrying the most weight. if you’ve been following along, since january, my life has taken a huge transformation towards a healthier lifestyle. as i’ve been sharing a bit more about my journey and getting more and more feedback from you guys, i realized that this space gives me a platform to share my story really openly and honestly. from day one my goal with blogging about it, has been for the sole purpose of knowing that somewhere out there someone might relate to what i’ve been through, what i am currently going though or my goals to get though and that if there is even a slight chance of me having an impact on their journey – all the time spent and my past struggles are worth it.

so with all that being said, you may have noticed some small changes on the blog here (apparently i’m all about change this week!). i have decided to take this space in a slightly different direction than i had originally planned when i set out starting it over 2 years ago now. transformation is something i love when it comes to blogging – the fact that our lives, our careers, our goals, our personalities are constantly evolving and so are our spaces! so i am excited to announce the re-birth of taravictoria.com as a fitness and design blog. what this means is that the majority of the regular columns and design content will still exist and be posted regularly, but there will also be new series, dedicated to healthy living and what i’ve been learning along the way! look out for recipes, workout guides, lessons i’ve learned with personal development and more! i encourage you to look to this space for positive reenforcement and perhaps even motivation!

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now, to dive into the part of my story i want to share with you guys today!  i mentioned before that i was starting a new fitness plan and an eating lifestyle change that i kicked off in the middle of february. i wanted to talk about that today and invite anyone who’s interested to join in with me!

after a lot of research, i decided to start eating paleo. right now i’m probably 80% paleo and 20% not for the times when no other option is available or i just really want something that isn’t considered paleo. the basic principles of the paleo diet (not a fan of using the “diet” word because people associate it with a diet and this is a lifestyle change) is to eat more lean meats and proteins and less carbs. my decisions for switching to these eating habits were not strictly weight loss related, actually they were barely weight loss related. because eating the way i previously was for so long didn’t seem to be agreeing with my body (constant stomach aches, bloating and headaches) i decided at the very least trying paleo couldn’t hurt. since switching, i have noticed a huge improvement in the way i feel physically. i don’t feel stuffed to death after eating a meal, my food doesn’t make me feel weighed down like it used to, and i find i have more energy and am a lot more focused. *disclaimer: i wanted to note that i am in no way saying this form of nutrition is for everyone or is “the right way to eat”, i am simply sharing what is working for me as i’m learning and growing.

the fitness plan that i have switched to is a little thing called insanity max 30 by beachbody. i am serious when i say this plan has changed my life. when i started on this journey, i was still pretty confused as to whether what i was doing was working or not. one day, a few months ago, i stumbled on this lady’s instagram account and saw her transformation with beachbody. not only was i insanely inspired, but i thought maybe it could help me to. at first i had a whirlwind of skeptical thoughts: that maybe it wouldn’t work the same way for me, maybe it was too much money, maybe i wasn’t in shape enough to even try it, etc, etc. after a few weeks of mulling it over, i thought WHY FREAKING NOT! what did i have to loose? what was really holding me back – except fear of failure? and i thought about how i had been considering a gym membership but really had no desire to go to the gym. in comparison to a membership, this set of dvd’s didn’t even compare it was so much cheaper and i could do it in the comfort of my own home as many times as i wanted to!

so i ordered and anxiously awaited the delivery. the great thing is there was also a nutrition guide with portion control to help me along the way with the 60 day challenge. i am now almost 30 days into the program and i am obsessed. i have been taking measurements and photos weekly and i’m blown away by the results. *bragging moment* in the first week i lost 6 pounds and an entire inch off my thighs! of course, that doesn’t come without hard work, but i am sooo enjoying pushing myself further and further with each workout – and i am thrilled to say i haven’t missed one! i’ve even done extra! transformation photos to come soon. 

in the last 10 ish years of feeling hopeless, helpless, uncomfortable in my own skin, and completely unhappy with my appearance – i have never found anything that not only gave me results like insanity max does, but motivates me like it does. after putting a lot of thought into it, i decided to take a leap to become a beachbody coach so i could share my story with as many people as possible and support them along the way in any way i could. sometimes all you need to stay with a program like this is simply a support group of like-minded individuals going through similar things you are! so in honour of support i am putting together a challenge group to do a second round of insanity max 30 with me! and guess what: you’re all welcome to join!! if you’re interested in participating, leave a comment with your email below or send me an email. also, please feel free to email me if you have any questions or want to chat about anything i’ve shared today, i am here for each and every one of you and totally open to chat : ) if you made it this far, thanks for reading along today on this longer post – happy wednesday! 

geeking out over a new home

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firstly, i just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all of you for the massive outpouring of support on yesterday’s announcements. it really means the world to me and it made making that announcement that much more exciting for me – so THANK YOU!

since we found out we’re moving, naturally, my inner interior design monster has come out in full force. as soon as i found out we got the new place for sure, i was totally geeking out over where i could put everything and what new additions would make the space feel even more like home. i am so thrilled that there will be no carpet (more room for new rugs!), because i’ve never been a fan of carpet – i’m all for tile and hardwood. so today i wanted to share a few things i’ve been online window shopping at that i think would be perfect for the new space. oh, and yes, those are anchor sheets (somebody pinch me!)

what are your favourite things about moving to a brand new place? (other than all the packing and lifting heavy boxes, of course HA!) 

 

hamper  |  bonjour  |  pillow  |  ampersand  |  rug  |  candle  |  bowls  |  print  |  sheets

ch-ch-changes

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wowee, the past two months have been full of unexpected, sudden changes all trickling down one after another challenging us and creating new opportunities. there has been a little bit of radio silence on here these past few weeks and i wanted to pop by today as things start to calm down a bit and give y’all a little update and share just a few of these new changes. oh, and be sure to come by later this week for another, really exciting update! 

firstly, we found out about a month ago that we were going to have to move out of the house we’re currently in because the landlords are selling it. we had a pretty difficult time finding the place we’re in now and had expected to stay for more than a year so it came as a bit of a surprise to us. finding a new place is stressful, but we have been searching actively for the past few weeks and i am happy (and so relieved) to say we found a place and made it official this weekend! i could not be more excited! it’s funny when you’re faced with what seems like a struggle, most of the time it ends up being a beautiful opportunity in the end. the new place is just amazing and i’m a bit obsessed. we also move in less than 2 weeks (ahhh!) let the packing commence!

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another large change that i am so thrilled to announce is: officially as of this past friday, i will be pursuing my design studio, hatch & harbour full-time. with a few opportunities that have presented themselves in the past few weeks, this has been a decision i have put a lot of serious thought into. there’s been a lot of brainstorming, business planning and visioning about the direction i want to take my studio in and i am really stoked about this move. as most of you know, i have been working full-time, from home for a company for almost a year now. while it’s been really great working for them, i have decided to focus all of my energy into the studio so hatch & harbour will no longer be a part-time gig!

stay tuned for upcoming updates, more recent work and best of all a brand new website coming real soon! in the meantime you can stay up to date on: facebook | twitter | instagram.

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if you are a business in need of design work, branding, websites, and more, feel free to get in touch, we currently have availability and would love to work with you!

between lenses: saturdays

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for the past few years, saturdays have become a really important day for me. they are the only sure day that my boyfriend gets off work and is not away from home. they have unintentionally become our days, whether that’s going on an adventure, spending it with friends, or cuddling up on the couch.

my favourite kind of saturdays are the ones with a slow wake up, laying in bed feeling the sun peek through our dark curtain windows, telling me to get up and start the day. troy is always up early and usually lets me sleep in, coming in to see if i’m awake and lounge around while i open my sleepy eyes and let them adjust to the light. i take my time getting out of bed, sometimes reading a bit or peeking at instagram. then we slowly head downstairs to make some breakfast. as of late, scrambled eggs, bacon and fruit is our favourite. i brew my coffee and make breakfast while it slowly drips into the pot, anxiously awaiting the loud beep of my coffee maker telling me it’s ready. we enjoy our food, clean up and start the day. whatever we end up deciding to do, even if it’s just heading to the grocery store, i’m happy to spend our saturdays soaking up each other’s company until another work week creeps up. 

i truly have come to cherish these days. i love that it has become such an important part of our week – making time for each other and making little moments to remember for years to come.

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trina’s photo is the perfect combination of calmness and warmth. i absolutely loved seeing how similar our saturdays are, both a special time for each of us with our guys. this photograph just screams deep conversations and laughter to me. head on over to trina’s blog to see what makes her saturdays something for her to look forward to!

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 this is a bloghop!

trina and i would love to see you join in and share your imagery! you can easily link up with us via the following steps:

1+  create your blog post and feel free to use the header image in which you can download here.
[please only use images for between lenses posts and be sure to attribute to trina or myself]
2+ copy your blog post’s url.
3+ notice where it says click here to enter – click that and follow the easy instructions. be sure to only link up with one of our blogs, not     both. no worries – since mine and trina’s blogs are interlinked, your blog post will show up on both!
4 + and for fun, you can share your photo on instagram using the #betweenlenses hastag.

our goal for this collaboration is to capture & reflect upon life, to cultivate inspiration among one another and to connect with other bloggers. and we hope that you’re one of them!



upcoming between lenses themes:

wednesday, april 8th // simplicity

 

fitness fridays: 01

StartSomewhereTaraVictoria

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
fit.co: instagram
amy silverman fitness: instagram
nike women: instagram
hello natural: blog
kristin sundberg: blog

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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!!

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