At long last, a proper carry on luggage case for travelling. Up until very recently I was using a travel duffle bag for all my travels, no matter how much stuff I had to bring with me. Whether I was on a weekend getaway or a week-long trip all of my belongings had to fit in a duffle bag that my shoulder then had to hold the brunt of. I moved slowly through airports, had constant neck and back pain while travelling and had to completely unpack the entire bag to be able to find anything.
I had been interesting in buying a proper carry-on suitcase for quite some time but overwhelmed by the multitude of options available. Do I go budget friendly and opted for a soft shell or is hard shell the way to go? A house brand from a department store or one of the many Instagram-hyped brands? Do I need one of those fancy schmancy suitcases that also has a portable charger?
Because of who I am as a person, I naturally wanted something Instagramable aka: one of the stylish hard shell luggage carry-ons I had been seeing online. When Monos gifted me one of their carry-ons I was excited to take it with me to California to see if it was really worth all the hype.
Also I recognize that this might not be the typical luggage review because: a) I've never written one and b) I've never read one before. So I am sure there are some features I should be speaking to that I am missing, but this is what I kept an eye on when it came to deciding what I want in a carry-on case.
Who doesn't feel cozier with a candle lit and their home smelling delicious? With scents like Chai and even Cereal (smells like Froot Loops) it's no wonder why I was smitten with Mala at first sniff. Over the past few weeks I've been lucky enough to get to know the maker behind Mala more and it's safe to say that knowing Melody has made me even more of a Mala fan. Melody is down to earth, hard-working and is genuinely passionate about sustainability and the type of maker that makes supporting local easy!
I had a chance to catch up with her earlier this month to chat with her about Mala, self-care and sustainability! (Plus we're doing a giveaway!)
Learning to enjoy cooking took me longer than I care to admit and there was a time in my life that if it required more than 5 ingredients to make I wasn’t going to attempt it. I ate like a college student for years after graduating college and it’s a miracle that I survived that long eating mostly prepackaged processed foods.
When I decided to learn how to cook it was a lot of trial and error with a plentra of bland dishes that I suffered through plus it was a major hit on my wallet because I was buying all the spices I needed, even if it’s only for one recipe - there is still a bottle of Herbes de Provence that I literally used one half of a teaspoon of in my cabinet. I also do not cook meat because; a) I get a bit squeamish touching raw meat, b) I am confident in my cooking abilities, but not enough that I feel comfortable cooking something that has to be cooked perfectly to avoid illness, and c) I’m cheap and meat is expensive.
These meal prep boxes seemed like a good idea in theory and ultra-trendy on the ‘gram for someone who might not be the best cook and doesn’t want to spend their time grocery shopping or looking to minimize on their food waste by having all the ingredients perfectly portioned out.
“But do you really get your money’s worth? How easy is it really?”
Well, I spent my own sweet coin on one of those meal prep boxes solely to review it and to attempt to answer any questions you may have. I also did this because I wanted to see if Hello Fresh could teach me how to cook meat.
There was a time in my life, not too long ago, where if anyone asked me if I wanted to go to barre I would have assumed that they were asking if I wanted to go to the bar. While both bar hopping and barre class will leave you sore the next day, one of them is the good kind of sore and not the hangover kind of sore.
So what is barre class? It seems to be one of those fitness trends that seem to be ultra-popular, primarily with women. It fires up your muscles with a combination of moves based of ballet and utilizes a ballet barre for some of its' signature moves.
While douchey gym bros may disregard it as a "girly" workout trust me when I say, barre is not for those looking to take it easy. Also, let's stop assuming because something is feminine/popular with women it means it's not as hard, yeah?
I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but I turned into one of those anomalies that enjoys working out. Trust me, it surprises me too. Prior to moving to Vancouver 5ish years ago I had almost no fitness routine. I had a gym membership and worked out fairly often (ish), but I had no idea what I was doing and only went because I told myself it was good for me. My workouts back then were not well balanced and I would show up at the gym to do whatever I felt like doing that day. Elliptical for an hour? Sure, why not? Free weights when I have no idea what I'm doing and don't know anything about form? Yeah, okay.
Then I moved to Vancouver and was a broke post secondary student so I stopped working out all together. "Das esspensive," I told myself and I also lack the motivation needed to work out on my own. It has only been within the last two years that I decided to make fitness a priority for me again and found that studio classes were the most motivational way for me to work out because; a) group workouts are always more motivating, b) it fosters a community and c) I am cheap AF and will refuse to miss a class because I am not paying a cancellation fee.
Lagree West is one of those fitness studios associated with a high price tag, a monstrosity of a contraption you use to work out, wireless headphones and giving your muscles that uncontrollable shake. Lagree West does offer "promo" pricing for their first timers (I use the term "promo" loosely because $20 a class is still a hefty price) so me being the frugal fitness fanatic that I am decided to try it out.
"How hard can a 40 minute workout class be?" I told myself. Famous last words, trust me.