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Hello There!

I'm Michelle, a rustic inspired lifestyle photographer and blogger based near Toronto, ON. I hope you enjoy these little snippets of my life through words and photographs!

February And Winter Essentials

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Unlike January, which felt like an entire year packed into a single month, February flew by at an insane pace. Although being born in February makes me a little bias, February is my favourite month. By this time the snow has fallen and has left its beautiful mark all over the landscape making for some awesome photo opportunities. It starts to feel like spring towards the end of the month, and I can almost see the end of our long and cold Canadian winters. It also means that I get to go up north to the cottage for my birthday and spend time with some of my favourite people! We went up for the weekend and ate too much food, drank the cold chill away, and indulged in some delicious vegan cakes!

I know it’s the middle of March now, but I wanted to share some of my favourite things from the month of February that I think are some great pick-me-ups for the winter season.

1. “You Are A Badass” by Jen Sincero 

I don’t mean to sound like one of those people who talk about how a book changed their life, but.. this book changed my life! It opened my eyes to a lot of things I had previously heard about but didn’t fully understand. The author is great at explaining her perspectives and ideas, and she added some further references at the end of the book if you needed some more help understanding. To be honest, the first time I saw this book I was completely turned off by the title, rolling my eyes at the idea of “being a badass” I put it down and didn’t purchase it until a few months later - which was a total mistake! (Don’t judge a book by its cover guys!) I finally started actually reading the book and couldn't stop, I was glued to it at the end of the day or on the train to work. It helped inspire me to pursue my full ‘badass’ potential, and now I’m trying my best to apply what I’ve learned to my everyday life! You can buy it here

 

2. Lush’s “Celestial” Facial Moisturizer.
This one is a winter dry-skin life saver! Since I have permanent Morphea (see my blog here) on my face, it’s particularly important to keep the affected areas moisturized to prevent any irritation. On top of this, I also have sensitive skin on my face so it made finding a moisturizer that actually worked very difficult! I had always loved lush for their yummy smelling, and environmentally cautious products, so when I went in to restock my shower essentials I asked the lovely attendant about what she recommended for a sensitive facial moisturizer and she brought me Celestial. I immediately loved the smell of this product, it’s almost like a vanilla icing! I also love that you only need a little bit of the product to go a long way. I usually only dab on 4 or 5 spots of the lotion onto my face and it provides full coverage. It leaves my face feeling super soft and smooth, and is great for underneath a full face of makeup! Also so happy that this product is also vegan and not tested on animals!
You can buy it here

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3. “Enjoy Life Foods, Dark Chocolate Chips”
I am a chocoholic - there, I said it! Since becoming vegan, I was having a tough time finding a vegan chocolate that I could snack on and that wasn’t super expensive. I found the Enjoy Life brand at a local Whole Foods and haven’t looked back. It’s great for baking (obviously) but I also keep it around as a snack when I get a craving for sweets. The dark chocolate ones are my favourite, as they’re just the right amount of sweetness!
You can buy them here

 

5. Balzac’s Coffee Roaster
My boyfriend and I have become coffee snobs in the best way possible! We were taste-testing a few different brands of whole bean coffee roasts when I came across Balzac’s in the store one day. I knew about this company before, they have a great little location in Toronto in the Distillery District that I’ve been to, but I had never tried their whole beans. Well it’s safe to say I’m hooked! We usually buy the Farmer’s Blend and use our french press to make our coffee. I literally go to bed excited to have my coffee in the morning!
You can find it here

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6. Helly Hansen Boyne Insulated Jacket
I found this jacket by accident while looking for a jacket for my boyfriend. It was the last one that I could find in this style and was actually on sale! I had my old jacket for ages and it was starting to look the part. This one is a great colour, it’s just long enough and has a nice swoop in the back. I love that its waterproof and insulated, making it functional and fashionable.
You can find it here

 

7. Canon 5D Mark III
My camera is an essential to my life and my business, and I’m including it in this list because I have been using it in abundance for the month of February! Recently I’ve been practicing videography, and I have been trying to collaborate with other creatives and photographers as much as I can. I use my camera to express myself creatively and to have fun. I am so lucky that I get to combine what I love doing and making money.
You can find it here

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