December 18, 2014

Not A Model x Barre3

Have you been to the barre?

I've done ballet barre before, and I found it to be one of the best workouts on the market. Although I do get some teasing from friends, "you're going to a ballet work out?" Anyone that I've tempted to go try a class, never came back with a taunting remark. (note: they were probably still trying to catch their breath).

Barre3, the latest barre studio in Toronto is a mix of pilates, yoga and ballet. The workout is low impact, and yet, each sequence works specific muscle groups in order to create strength and stability.

I visited the new studio to try a class, and was really impressed. The studio is spacious, bright, and clean with enthusiastic teachers who work your body to the ground.

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Barre3 has studios across America, as well as in the Philippines. The Toronto studio is their first Canadian launch. It is located at 325 King St. West.

For the next two weeks, Not A Model and Barre3 is offering a giveaway and a free trial! To try Barre3 at home (with online classes) for 15 days, head over to: and use the promo code B3NOTAMODEL to access your free trial.

Also, three lucky readers will receive a Barre3 Challenge Kit (see photo below) plus a three-month barre3 online subscription, together an $80 value! To enter, please do one of the following:

December 11, 2014

The List - Babies, Advent Calendars, Half pops, and Gifts That Give Back

It's time for another Not A Model round-up list. Below are some things I've been liking, reading, eating and tweeting. Enjoy!

1. There is nothing like receiving snail mail of your little cousins to stick some magnets on. My fridge (see above) has been getting quite crowded...with cuteness!

2. The New York Times gathered the top 9 actors of 2014 for a short film series called 9 Kisses. It pairs them in nine short videos, all involving a kiss. My favourite is Julianne Moore & John Lithgow's dance floor encounter.

3. My client and favourite lady Linda of Body Bijou is having a 20% site-wide sale until December 17th. Just enter the code: THANK YOU. Remember, 50% of their profits go to help girls get an education in the developing world. Give a gift that gives back!

4. I love when companies send me snacks for my stomach rumbles. My favourite of the month are Half Pops! It's popcorn that is partially popped, and it's addicting. Try: the butter and pure ocean sea salt flavour.

5. Photo pause: Malala Yousafzai arriving in Oslo, Norway to accept her Nobel Prize.

6. Looking for tunes? Jessie Ware's Tough Love album has been on repeat in my life.

7. LOVE Magazine's Advent Calendar features models dancing around in tiny rooms, in not very much clothing. It features famous ladies like Lily Aldridge, Adriana Lima and Suki Waterhouse. Also NSFW, well, depends on where you work..

8. Though, my preference is the Frozen Advent Calendar my sister bought me...

9. I don't even watch Sons of Anarchy, but Charlie Hunnum is a babe (via Vogue).  

10. This article by She Does the City, "All My Friends Are Getting Married (and I'm Eating Potato Chips" is a nice reminder that everyone is in different places in their twenties.

December 9, 2014

Weekly Mantra - Humans of New York

Have you heard of Humans of New York?

The popular photography blog with over 10 million followers, and a best-selling book showcases intimate portrait sessions with people on the streets of New York City. The founder, Brandon Stanton is a photographer who originally lost his job in finance and wanted to make a living off his love of photography.

I listened to Brandon speak at Unilever's "People are Beautiful" event last week in Toronto. The event focused on the new products that Unilever will be launching in 2015, but also on their vision for their brand. They want to reveal a brand that showcases all kinds of people, not just imaginary ideals.

December 2, 2014

Interview: The Yoga Element

With the holiday season and new year approaching, there is no better time to pause.

Last week I was invited to a yoga, meditation and mindfulness workshop with Cecily Milne from The Yoga Element at The Thompson Hotel in Toronto. It was a three-hour afternoon of practicing yoga, meditation and drinking green juice. I left feeling a sense of calm that I hadn't felt in months.

I interviewed Cecily to get her insight on her craft, and how us mere mortals can learn to quiet our minds. Enjoy!

1. What is The Yoga Element?

The Yoga Element is the result of my passion for movement and well-being. It represents the balance between having a healthy, mobile, pain-free body as well as a deeper sense of awareness in our everyday interactions.

2. How long have you been practicing yoga?

I started practicing yoga in 2003 when I was a university student. For almost a decade, yoga was my main outlet for movement; a couple of years ago, I started incorporating other forms of practice into my life including strength and mobility training. Today, I integrate these other movement modalities into the yoga "asana" practice, reflecting my understanding of what it means to have a "fluent body, fluid mind".

December 1, 2014

Book Club & Weekly Mantra - Wild

On my bedside table is Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

The popular true story follows Strayed's journey as an adventurer who after some tough personal events decides to walk the Pacific Crest Trail alone.

The memoir (which I am more than half way complete) brings you to a point of your own self-discovery. I find myself applauding Strayed's bravery, as I can't even look into a dark forest without  getting shivers. The book has also been adapted into a film starring Reese Witherspoon.

Below is a quote from Wild, and this week's mantra. Enjoy! x

 “I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”

November 24, 2014

Everyday Beauty - Kirty

I first saw Kirty perform at The Garrison in Toronto. She was the opening act for Harvey Cameron, my friend's band that I was waiting to watch. There she was, this auburn hair shaking hip swaying guitar playing girl, and it made me want to find out more.

Kirty grew up in Orillia, Ontario, always surrounded by music. Her mother taught her how to play guitar, and she played trumpet all throughout high school. She attended Humber College for their Contemporary Music program. At 26, she's already released her first album through independent grants from a variety of Toronto art councils, and she's working on a new album that will be released under a label.

She describes her music as beachy, rock, folk. She quotes Bruce Springsteen, Sarah Harmer, Blue Rodeo and Neil Young as musical inspirations, as well as her family and ex-boyfriends.

November 18, 2014

New Weekly Mantra - We think too much about what goes wrong..

I realized that I've been acting ungrateful lately. I'm quick to point out all of the things that aren't right, from the littlest things, to the larger life items. It is always when I read international news, or look up for a second from my own world, that I realize that I have much, much, much more than I'll ever need; even if everything is not quite where I want it to be.

This week's mantra relates. Enjoy! x

"We think too much about what goes wrong and not enough about what goes right in our lives. Of course, sometimes it makes sense to analyze bad events so that we can learn from them and avoid them in the future. However, people tend to spend more time thinking about what is bad in life than is helpful. Worse, this focus on negative events sets us up for anxiety and depression. One way to keep this from happening is to get better at thinking about and savouring what went well." - Dr. Martin Seligman via Brain Pickings 

November 14, 2014

The List - On Fairytales, Montauk, Activism, and Getting Published

It's Friday, so here's some of the things I've been reading, and liking this week! Enjoy.

Credit: Bruce Buck for the New York Times 
The List

1. Keira Knightley in The Edit talks about the fairytale trope and not waiting around for a man to save you.

2. I was published in my first magazine (!!!) Best Health to be exact. I wrote about blurring products for the holiday season.

3. Brooklyn Beckham nails it in the latest from T Magazine in one of my favourite vacation spots, Montauk.

4. If there is one family I'd like to be part of, it's the Missoni family. Check out their quirky Milano dream home.

5. Need music to relax to? The score to the film, The Theory of Everything is, well, EVERYTHING. My pick: Cambridge, 1963

6. These photos of top floor NYC bathrooms would turn anyone into an exhibitionist. (Photo above)

7. One of my best girls, Jaimie has a blog, Returning to Humanity where she tackles the pressing issues of race, conflict, activism and human rights. Read it. Trust me.