Curated By Dyan Perry
Mason Pearson – Junior (BN2-DARKRUBY) Bristle & Nylon, Medium brush
Mason Pearson Brushes are made to order, ensuring the highest quality and craftsmanship, and utilizing techniques pioneered and patented by the founder - Mason Pearson - over 130 years ago. These beautiful, and mostly handmade brushes are not mass-produced and are made to last. A variety of sizes and styles are available for most hair types.
M.A.C Cosmetics – VIVA GLAM Taraji P. Henson bright fuchsia (matte)
The M.A.C AIDS Fund is supported exclusively by a consumer-based model that directs 100 percent of selling price of VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass products to help fight HIV/AIDS. To date, the campaign has raised more than $440 million. By purchasing one VIVA GLAM product you provide: 1 rapid oral HIV test, 1 pair of school shoes for a child orphaned by AIDS, 1 week of fresh fruit, vegetables and grocery essentials to a mother and child affected by HIV, 254 condoms to prevent transmission of HIV and more.
SkinCeuticals – Phyto Corrective Masque
An enhanced soothing masque with highly concentrated botanical extracts, calming dipeptide, and hyaluronic acid to intensively soothe and replenish temporary skin reactivity. This calming facial mask cools on contact, comforts skin sensitivity, and restores natural radiance and smoothness. Perfect for post-workout, travel and seasonal outdoor activities with exposure to the elements. Suitable for all skin types. Available at medi-spas & dermatologist offices nationally.
To learn more and find a retailer near you, visit skinceuticals.ca
Michael Kors – Access Bradshaw Smartwatch (MKT5003)
Combine the capabilities of a smartwatch and activity tracker with the glamour of a luxury timepiece. Receive notifications, initiate phone calls, browse the Internet and track fitness via Google Fit. Compatible with Apple and Android smartphones allowing you to connect with your favourite apps.
Available at thebay.com
Happy Plugs – Ear Piece Wireless White
Whether you’re running outside, running on the treadmill or running errands, this chic wireless headset will serve both function and fashion. Answer calls, listen to music or your favourite podcast in style. It will be your new favourite tech toy and accessory! Also available in black.
Available at indigo.ca
HICKIES – No-Tie Elastic Shoelaces in Neon Multi
Tying your shoes has never been easier! With HICKIES, lace your shoes one time. And turn any shoe into a slip-on. Works with all laced styles of shoes for men, women and children. Available in a variety of colours with multiple lacing styles to fit tighter or looser depending on preference.
To learn more and shop, visit hickies.com
Nest – Learning Thermostat (3rd generation)
Meet the 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat. It has a thinner, sleeker design, a larger, sharper display screen and Farsight technology that lights up the unit when you walk into the room. Save on average 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling bills; paying for itself in two years or less.
Available at indigo.ca
Joseph Joseph – Index Steel chopping board set with steel case
Four colour-coded chopping boards housed in a stylish stainless steel case. Use of the different tabbed boards helps prevent cross-contamination during cooking prep work.
Available at thebay.com
Saje Wellness – aromaBreeze Ultrasonic Diffuser
The ultrasonic technology, combined with water and a natural essential oil diffuser blend, produce negative ions and an aroma that infuses your air with vitality and elevates your well-being. It is equipped with an optional LED light and can also be used on just the mist setting with room- temperature tap water as a humidifier.
To learn more and shop, visit saje.com/ca
Originally Published: May 22, 2017
Written by Dr. Michelle Durkin, ND
I believe that food, exercise, sunlight, fresh air, relationships, and stress affect our health more than we will ever know. It is these things that we need to be spending our time, money, and effort on in order to live a healthy life. It is our daily habits that will determine the overall quality of our health.
So being the new year once again, what can we do differently to stick to our healthy habits this year?
I think you need to start with knowing yourself better.
According to happiness expert, Gretchen Rubin, we each fall into one of four tendencies. Questioner, Obliger, Upholder, and Rebel. Knowing your tendency can point you in the direction of the tools you need to best succeed in sticking to good habits.
Here is a small summary of what I see that works best for the two most common tendencies when they need to stick to better eating habits.
Questioner: You need to know the reason why you are following a certain food plan. Understanding some of the nutritional science of why you are eating what you are eating is really important.
Tip: read about the history of the food pyramid in order to understand why the Canada Food Guide and general mainstream nutrition advice is not the best diet, and will likely cause you to be fat, sick, and tired.
Obliger: You need to have someone to keep you accountable. You can have all the knowledge you want but it won’t translate into action. You need someone keeping you on track and as soon as you stray away from that regular contact you will stray away from your goals as well.
Tip: have regular bioimpedance analysis checkups with your ND or get a personal trainer. Being accountable to someone other than yourself will go a hundred times further than reading more books, gathering more recipes, or buying another piece of exercise equipment.
If you want to delve deeper into this information or take the quiz online go to gretchenrubin.com. I also highly recommend her best-selling book, Better Than Before.
“What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while” – Gretchen Rubin
Michelle can be reached at
Originally Published: May 8, 2017
Written by Carolyn Coffin
Did you know that self-care includes having fun and playing, just like you did when you were a kid? Is there room for play in your schedule or are you booked to the minute?
Be honest, when is the last time you really lost yourself in a joyful activity that had you completely absorbed in the moment with zero attachment to the outcome?
As the challenges and responsibilities of making a living and managing a family accumulate, we seem to have adopted the collective belief that play is for youth.
The truth is that play is for everyone, particularly those engaged in the incredible complexity and breakneck pace of modern life.
Play can be any activity that you find enjoyable, with minimal emphasis on rules, structure, or tangible results. The objective is to get you out of the focused, rational mindset that you exist in for most of the day, unplug from your routine, and have some fun!
It’s easy to be sedentary in the modern world, so ideally your play sessions will involve getting outdoors in fresh air and sunlight while performing moderate amounts of physical exertion. This can be anything from a five-minute break from your work desk to practice juggling in the courtyard to a weekend getaway where you learn how to stand-up paddle, snowshoe, or rock climb. For the majority of us who don’t accumulate enough daily movement, these outdoor play stints produce the best physical and psychological benefits.
Research has shown that play is a sure way to fuel your imagination, creative juices, problem-solving abilities, and emotional well-being. Play helps us connect with our childlike curiosity, manage stress, and even increase productivity – all with a better sense of humour and a more positive outlook on life.
For those averse to formal workouts, you’ll be relieved to know that play can contribute to the development of strength and speed as effectively as formal workouts do. There are even fitness centres popping up designed to promote play, filled with foam pits for jumping, ropes to climb or swing on, and obstacles to jump over or up onto. The MovNat (MovNat. com) fitness program emphasizes spontaneous interaction with one’s natural surroundings, which can appeal more than a stuffy gym to many.
I recently polled my Facebook community to see what their favourite play activities are, and here’s what they love:
- Dancing to music in the kitchen
- Adult dodge ball
- Pickup basketball / Ultimate Frisbee
- Cannonballing into a lake
- Chasing your children on the jungle gym
- Tobogganing / building snow forts / having a snowball fight
It’s up to us to reconnect with our roots as playful human beings. When it feels as though life is too serious or slipping by too fast, toss aside your to-do list and make room for the activities that really help you recharge. Let the fun shine in, have a blast, and just live a little – or a lot!
Carolyn can be reached at
Originally Published: April 24, 2017
Written by Natasha Turner, ND
According to a large survey, less than one in 10 Americans sleep in the buff. This is a sad finding considering the fantastic (and scientifically proven!) reasons we gain from ditching PJs and slipping into our birthday suit. Check out these surprising health benefits ranging from improved hormonal balance and mood to less belly fat, more sex and beyond.
Boost your anti-aging hormones:
Plenty of people like to feel cozy at bedtime, but a sleep environment that’s too warm can prevent the natural cooling that should take place in your body while you sleep. Keeping your body or your bedroom too warm (higher than 21 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit) will disrupt the release of your main anti-aging hormones, melatonin and growth hormone. When we sleep in total darkness, melatonin is released, triggering a very slight but critical cool-down in the body. As body temperature drops, growth hormone is released and works its regenerative magic.
In fact, sleep itself has been touted as a magic pill precisely because it encourages the release of this youthful hormone. In a study published in the journal Sleep, researchers showed that you can get safe, legal doses of growth hormone – and even improve athletic performance – just by hitting the sack for a deep, restorative sleep. It’s also good for your health in other ways – researchers have found that people with normal or high blood pressure experience a 20 to 30 percent reduction in blood pressure and 10 to 20 percent reduction in heart rate during sleep.
Improve body composition:
As mentioned, wearing heavy blankets or clothing to bed will impede the release of growth hormone, which means you won’t burn fat while you sleep or benefit from night-time repair of your bones, skin and muscles. Growth hormone (HGH) affects just about every cell in the body. It’s essential for tissue repair, muscle building, bone density and healthy body composition. People who sleep less than six hours a night may be three times more likely to develop a condition which leads to diabetes and heart disease (and in turn, weight gain), according to researchers at the University of Warwick. When your sleep is insufficient, your cortisol and hunger hormones both surge, causing a corresponding increase in insulin. You also experience decreases in the fat-burning and appetite-controlling hormones.
Get deeper sleep:
Research has shown that certain forms of insomnia associated with faulty body temperature regulation and the inability to cool down at night enough to spark a deeper stage of sleep. In one Dutch study, scientists placed thermosuits on participants to lower skin temperature less than one degree Celsius without affecting core body temperature. The result? People didn’t wake up as much during the night and the percentage of the sleep spent in stages three and four (deep sleep) increased. In elderly subjects, a 0.4 degree decrease in skin temperature caused a decline in the probability of early morning waking from 0.58 to 0.04. And believe it or not, you don’t sweat or shiver during REM sleep so have no fear that ditching the layers will have you dreaming of icicles.
Lower cortisol and belly fat:
As you cool down at night and growth hormone increases, cortisol will also decrease with healthy sleep patterns. Between the hours of 10:00 pm and 2:00 am is the time when your body is truly resting and recuperating (and cortisol should be at its lowest). By 2:00 am your adrenal glands (stress glands) begin to work to produce cortisol, in preparation for the next day, which also peaks at 4:00 am and then should naturally reach its highest point around 6:00 am – just at the right time to get you up out of bed feeling energized. On the nights that you do not sleep enough, you will wake with a level of cortisol that is abnormally high.
This is known to trigger your appetite – especially for comfort foods (muffins, cookies, etc) and your tendency to overeat, increase tension/anxiety and fuel belly fat – even in people who are otherwise thin. High cortisol levels weaken the body’s immune system, raise blood pressure and cholesterol, increase appetite, disrupt our normal sleep patterns, lower libido, increase cravings for sugar and carbs and more. It will also contribute to other hormonal imbalances and health conditions including PMS, infertility, thyroid disease and abnormal blood sugars.
Higher levels of oxytocin.
If you and your partner both sleep in the nude, you can be reaping the benefits of this feel-good hormone. Skin to skin touching (with intimacy, a massage, or cuddling) is all that is required. Also involved in sexual responsiveness, the hormone oxytocin counteracts stress and depression by combating the harmful effects of cortisol and reduces blood pressure. It has also been shown to improve gut motility and decrease intestinal inflammation. Another bonus? More... ahem... opportunities. Let’s face it, there’s nothing that turns your partner off faster than head-to- toe flannel pyjamas.
Natasha can be reached at
Originally Published: April 10, 2017
Written by Sharon Harrison
Full-time workers may spend eight, 10 or more hours each day, five or sometimes six days a week at work. Many people have no option but to work 30, 40 or more years in their lifetime. Add in time spent on commuting and a serious amount of time is spent away from home and family. On average, people spend about one-third of their lives working and that number appears to be growing as people are living longer.
All workplaces should be comfortable and safe spaces where the basic principles for maintaining a happy and healthy workforce are met, whether it’s an office environment, a factory floor or a shop counter. But our work environment isn’t always as nurturing as it should be or conducive to thriving. Work areas can be noisy and distracting making it difficult to concentrate. Corporate and office workers usually get the better deal and some are fortunate to find themselves in beautifully-decorated office towers with designer-inspired touches.
Putting the questionable wallpaper and sleek office furniture aside for a moment, it is people who form the bigger equation in any workplace
environment. Employees are often haphazardly thrown together in an alien environment where they get to use their education, draw on their training and demonstrate their skills. Of course, it isn’t always as random as we may think. Employees are chosen not just for the skills and talent they bring to an organization, but for their ability to fit into the corporate structure as well as get along with their co-workers.
Workplace environments can be tricky; some can be awkward and others are positively toxic. Much like the school playground, not everyone gets along. Personalities clash and some people simply don’t play nice.
We may not enjoy our chosen career path, nor like the boss or the person in the next cubicle. There are bad habits and inappropriate behaviours. There may be power struggles, jealousy or insecurities—there may be differences in perspectives and working styles. A hostile and dysfunctional workplace helps no one, and a bad atmosphere at work can be frustrating and stressful for everyone concerned.
A solid and proactive management style is essential along with effective and open communication. Meaningful dialogue and a good attitude will go a long way. As with all good relationships, there needs to be trust, respect and fairness. Whether departmental manager, CEO or just a little cog in the bigger wheel, it is important to embrace ideas and listen to others. People need to be heard.
Turn negativity into something positive. Try approaching difficult and challenging situations with understanding, tolerance and an open mind. Practice acceptance. Most people need to feel important and valued; they want to contribute, to be engaged and part of the process, however small or insignificant their role.
No one wants the workplace to be an area of tension, uncertainty or fear—or one of constant conflict. A bad atmosphere is demoralizing. A healthy and safe workplace is paramount—and it is a right. Keep it fun, lighthearted and friendly and the days will go by much faster. A good atmosphere at work makes for a happy and content team of people resulting in a harmonious workplace and a healthy bottom line.
Originally Published: March 27, 2017
Written by Sharon Harrison
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where the promotion you expected didn’t materialize? Were you qualified for the position and ready for the next step, or did you misjudge the situation. Do you have an overinflated view of your abilities and skills? Have you ever wondered why your career isn’t progressing as you had hoped?
Almost everyone wants to get ahead in life; people naturally want their career to progress with the ultimate aim of increasing their rung on the ladder and the financial reward that comes with. What happens when things don’t quite go to plan? Is it possible there are things you could be doing differently in order to get ahead? Sometimes, we are so focused on a single goal we fail to see the bigger picture.
Some people will do almost anything to get ahead as they vie for a step up the corporate ladder, regardless of the impact it may have on co- workers and their ultimate goal. It’s human nature to want to do better, but could we be going about it in the wrong way?
While it may seem obvious to promote your strengths, a person’s weaknesses should not automatically be ruled as something negative. Weaknesses can be qualities, too. Handling difficult situations sensitively and with ease can reveal a lot about us.
Be honest with yourself and expect the same of others. When the chips are down, can you be relied upon to produce results? Are you trustworthy, focused, determined? Are you respected by your peers?
It begins with confidence. Confident people go places, achieve their goals. Once you start believing in yourself, others will too, but there is a fine line between confidence and ego.
Do you see yourself the way others do? If you asked a friend to list three enduring qualities about you, the answer may surprise. Obvious traits such as kindness, compassion and intelligence may come to mind, but the answer may not be what we expect. How we perceive ourselves is important, but perhaps more critically, how do others perceive us? Do others see you as generous or mean? Are you fair or tough to get
along with? What about sincerity? Do you accept your mistakes graciously? Are you committed to your career?
How do people judge you and how do you judge others? Are you the happy person with a beaming smile or always carrying a frown? Think about how you project yourself. Do you have good posture? What about a signature look that makes you stand out from crowd?
While a dazzling smile may get attention, following through with hard results is essential when trying to make a good impression.
Stand out from the crowd: do something, however small, that will be remembered. Impress others. Turn up. Be punctual. Be prepared. While being late for a meeting or not being properly prepared may get you noticed, it likely won’t gain you any Brownie points in the longer term. Dazzle with knowledge. Building trust with co-workers and managers takes time and effort, so go the extra mile and bring something unexpected to the table. And perhaps most importantly, be passionate about what you do and success will surely follow.
Originally Published: March 20, 2017
I’ve learned that there is no secret formula for success in anything.
Complete academic goals. Dream big, listen, learn, and believe that you can do anything you put your mind to (even if it’s not exactly what you had planned).
Some decide to make a life change mid-career. Maybe it’s to raise a family, or simply take a new direction in life. Imagine the risk - selling, moving, buying, and trying to fit into established circles, finding work, beginning on the first rung of the ladder, and starting all over again in a new endeavour. Roll up sleeves and dig in.
However, all work and no play is no way to live- let’s agree? We should enjoy every moment of spare time, be nice to each other, look forward- not backwards, and not stress about negative words that find their way back to us.
We should embrace our relationships, and be brave enough to let go of the ones that are toxic. We should eat well, indulge now and then, exercise and be good to our bodies. Enjoy silence when the moment presents itself, but do whatever makes us happy, healthy and fulfilled. We have one life; we should live it to the best of our individual abilities. Put to bed the regrets. Find peace.
Now that we are past deciding whether our new year’s resolutions worked or didn’t, we have spring to celebrate. It’s another chance at making positive changes to our lifestyle.
One “must attend” local event that is sure to help us celebrate spring and embrace change is the Healthy Living EXPO on May 6th, 2017.
After a two-year hiatus, the EXPO returns to the Bay of Quinte Region in a new venue, Centennial Secondary School, with hundreds of vendors. Some vendors will be offering various free health screenings, wellness coaching, fitness demonstrations, mindfulness strategies, eco living, naturopathy and alternative medicine, products and services - all geared toward helping us live a positive, healthy life.
New to the EXPO will be a “Foodie Market”, where local chefs, food experts and farmers will be serving mouth-watering dishes and samples.
For only a $2 admission (with 50% of proceeds going to the Three Oaks Foundation) on May 6th, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, attendees will be entered into hundreds of draws at the door, given a free welcome bag to fill with samples, swag and information, and meet and talk to local industry experts. All under one roof!
See you on Saturday, May 6th!
LORI MITCHELL, PUBLISHER, EDITOR
Originally Published: March 9, 2017