Spring Running Essentials

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Photo: Chris Thorn (christhornphotography.com)

With race season already underway, I thought I would share some of my latest go-to running essentials for spring. I’m eagerly awaiting my half-marathon debut and clocking a lot of miles, so these essentials have been keeping me on track (no pun intended!).

1) Stance Run Fuel Crew Socks – These lightweight reflective socks are perfect for running with a reinforced toe and heel, engineered arch support and also breathable mesh. These Stance socks stay on your feet without moving around, they will never slide off and also look super fly. The entire Stance Run collection is so fun! My new favorite thing is to run races in these wild performance socks.

 

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2) Nike Free RN Distance 2 – The latest edition of the RN Distance shoe is a great new addition to my running gear. I have been using them for my 8-10 km runs because they are very lightweight and also very flexible. The shoe’s outsole has hexagonal flex grooves that allow for greater flexibility of the foot while you run. Additionally, the Lunarlon cushioning supports my feet during these longer distances and so do the Flywire cables that are integrated with the laces, in order to wrap my arch and provide an even more supportive fit.

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3) Ciele FSTCap – With spring comes warmer temperatures and higher chances of running in the sun (hopefully!). I always cover my head when running during the warmer months because it could potentially prevent heatstrokes and at the same time, keeps my hair in place. This Ciele cap is super lightweight, UPF +40 protection, easy to bring travel with and machine washable.

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4) Spibelt With Waterproof Accessory – This Spibelt is an absolute must for my runs, races and also all of the obstacle courses I’ve been doing. Not only does it keep my belongings dry and clean but it’s also sturdy while not being bothersome when I run. I use the larger belt to stash anything like keys, ID card, money, phone and also gels while I run.

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5) Strava Run App – Whether you’re training for a half-marathon like myself, a trail race, a triathlon, a cycling race or just want to keep tabs on your fitness activities every week, the Strava App is a super handy tool! Not only is it a great activity tracker but also a fun and encouraging social platform.

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6) Clif Shot Energy Gel – Longer runs often require a little boost of energy so I have been trying out some gels these past couple of weeks as I’ve been clocking more miles to see how my body reacted. Thus far, the Clif energy shot has been my favorite in terms of flavour and also ingredients.

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7) Urbanears Humlan headphones – These have been my go-to for running for the past two years. This particular Urbanears model is machine washable, has a tangle-free cord as well as built-in mic that allows you to also be able to chat on the phone if you so desire.

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8) Consonant Sunscreen – With the temperatures on the rise, it’s important to wear sunscreen especially when going out for a longer run. The Consonant sunscreen is one of my favorites because it is clean and 100% natural. The cream uses uniquely micronized (non-nano particle) Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide minerals to block the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. The cream is also water and sweat resistant!

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Carry-On Essentials

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With so much traveling coming up in the next couple of months, packing and re-packing will be one of my realities. One of the things I love most about packing is getting my carry-on ready. From traveling so often in the past couple of years, I’ve come to realize the smaller the carry-on the better. The less annoying you’ll be to everyone on the plane, the easier you can shove it under your seat and keep all the things you need with you and the lighter it’ll be to carry. For a while after my teens, I hated bringing backpacks as carry-ons, they were always so ugly and bulk but with so many awesome and stylish backpacks now available, I have a renewed love for them. You can now travel with a backpack without feeling like you’re going to school. Having run so many times from gate to gate while trying to catch a connecting flight, I ONLY bring a backpack now,  Though my carry-ons items vary depending on where I’m going, there are a few things that I ALWAYS bring with me…

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1) FJALLRAVEN KANKEN Backpack – Great sturdy backpack that has different storage pockets including a pocket for a computer or iPad. Love this neutral grey color.

2) Urbanears Humlan Mulberry headphones – Love these headphones because they’re noise-cancelling, they also have a second jack so that I can share what I’m listening to with my travel partner. They can also be washed in the washing machine.

3) MODA:KO Blair iPad case – Super cute and functional iPad case from a local Toronto brand. This case also has a pocket for extra storage. I love it because it has padding that really helps protect my iPad.

4) Dream Water – I read about this on Sosasha‘s blog. I used it on my recent travels to Europe and it really helped me relax on my overnight flights and also helped with the jet lag. I was also surprised by how good it tasted!

5) KIND Bar – I always bring snacks with me when I travel to avoid buying unhealthy airport and airplane food. I usually have a variety of sweet and savoury snacks as well as fresh fruit that I’ll buy in advance. The only thing I will buy at the airport will be something to drink but I make sure that my drink is healthy. I recently discovered these while running with the Nike Run Club in LA. They’re so incredibly yummy and only contain ingredients that you can actually read 😉 Yup, my new policy with food is: if I don’t know what’s on the label and I can’t read it, then maybe I shouldn’t be putting it in my body!

6) The Good Bean – Found these at Fiesta Farms in Toronto last weekend, love trying out new snacks. These are coconut and lemongrass flavoured and are organic, gluten free and non-gmo. They’re also a good source of protein but don’t fill you up too much!

7) iPad – I used to not use my iPad very often but lately I grew a lot fonder of it when I started uploading films and games to my iPad for traveling. It’s a lot less bulkier than carrying a computer around, can fit in pretty much any bag and pretty much has all the same functions. Before I leave on any trip now, I always stock up my iPad with tons of new books, magazines, apps, games and movies. So even if I’m taking a long flight with the crappiest airline that doesn’t have an in-flight entertainment system, I’m A-OK!

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8) Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo facial cleansing cloths – Recently got these all-natural facial cleansing cloths from The Ten Spot Beauty Bar on Queen West in Toronto. They’re individually wrapped and perfect for travel. I always have one or two with me so that I can remove my makeup and freshen up after a long flight. They’re paraben, alcohol, sulfate and synthetic fragrance free!

9) F. Miller Skin Care – I’ve talked about F. Miller’s products on the blog several times already. Her face oil is a MUST for me when I’m traveling. There’s nothing that really replenishes my skin after a long flight quite like it. It really makes my skin feel smooth and hydrated. Her lip balm is also amazing and all-natural. Both are always in my backpack!

10) Maybelline Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara – One of the only mascaras that I found lately that doesn’t really leak and that keeps my lashes smooth and not clumpy. Lately, I’ve been on the lookout for a good natural mascara, so if you have suggestions, please post them in the comments below!

11) Avène Eau Thermal Spray and Moisture Mask – I recently posted both of these on my Friday Faves blog posts. Love this little bottle of thermal water, it’s less than 100ml and a few spritz of this makes you feel alive and awake after a long flight! The moisture mask is also a great thing to put on during a flight, if you don’t mind going back and forth to the bathroom to rinse it off before you land.

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12) GoPro Hero – Even if this isn’t the newest and greatest GoPro, it’s actually one of the best things I’ve ever gotten. I’ve been bringing it everywhere with me since I got it a couple of years ago. It’s perfect not only for sports (surfing, snowboarding, etc.) but also for traveling in general because you can take it out in any kind of weather. It’s also super small and easy to place anywhere with all the different mounts.

13) Maison Scotch – I purchased this passport carrier a few years ago and have been using it every time I travel. Maybe it’s weird, but I don’t like people seeing my passport. I also know that there are all sorts of scanners in airports so I’m always more discreet when carrying my passport around. Plus this faux-croc case is beautiful and classy.

14) Komono Red Leopard Watch – I always have a watch on me while I travel especially if I’m changing time zones. I try not to rely so much on my phone and more my watch to tell time. Not only is it really practical to have a watch (duh!) but a watch like this is also a beautiful statement piece.

15) Philistine gold sunglasses – Offner often makes fun of me because as soon as I see a ray of sunlight, I’ve got sunglasses on. Doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter. I’m particularly found of these gold retro shades I found last summer at Philistine’s in Toronto on Queen West. They’re definitely my favorite pair!

16) US phone – Is really a piece of crap but has been such a lifesaver when I travel. Maybe it’s old-school to have a “Pay As You Go” phone but with so much time spent in the US, buying a US phone has been the best purchase. Though I could have opted for a better phone (this phone was incredibly cheap – I got it at a Radio Shack in LA for $50), this phone has emails, data, calling and texting… Don’t really need anything else since I also have an iPhone with me at all times. Until Canadian cell phone companies really get good plans for US travelers, I’ll keep using this phone!

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17) ANKER portable charger – I got this off of Amazon before the holidays and it’s been a lifesaver not only during my travels but also during winter in general because of the crappy battery life of my iPhone during winter. Being outdoors for long periods of time in the winter just kills my phone so having this portable charger with me has been heaven! It take a couple of hours to charge but it can then be used to recharge your phone 2-3 times with just one charge.

18) Stance Bglam Socks – Something that you may not know is that I’m ALWAYS freezing and especially on airplanes. Even in the summer, I can’t take a plane without wearing socks or my feet will freeze. Love these socks because they’re super chic and also warm!

19) Sleep mask – Nabbed this at Dollarama but does the trick! Even if I don’t always use it on the plane, it’s good to have when traveling. I sometimes have no idea what my sleeping situation will be so I bring it just in case. I honestly couldn’t care less what people think and on long overnight flights, it not only helps me sleep but prevents me from getting disrupted by anyone on the plane.

Other things you’ll also usually find in my carry-on: toothbrush and toothpaste, ear plugs, something to drink, chargers, etc.

What are some of your carry-on essentials? Share them with me below.

Winter Running

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Never thought I would be a winter runner. Honestly, I never thought I would run consistently all throughout the year. I’ve mentioned this on the blog before but since I moved closer to the waterfront in Toronto, running has become a really important part of my life. It’s precious “me” time that I use to decompress and clear my head. I’ve always dreaded running when the temperature started to drop and would usually stop around October or November. Luckily, this fall hasn’t been too cold and I’ve been able to wear some awesome new gear, which has made braving the cold a whole lot easier. These Hyperwarm tights & this warm waterproof jacket have helped keep me warm. Plus these rad new shoes give me some extra pep in my step. #ChooseYourWinter is Nike’s slogan this year and I can honestly say that I’ve chosen to brave the elements and keep up with my running routine. Though I’ll be traveling a lot in the next couple of months, I hope to be able to keep up with this regimen. I’ve been thinking about this a lot as of late and I would like to sign up for my first ever 5-10k run in 2015. New goal!! Anyone want to sign up with me? 😀

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Photos by @Offner

Nike Pro Hyperwarm Mezzo WB Tights (get them here)

Nike Zoom Fit Agility Women (get them here)

Nike Women Storm-FIT 1 jacket 

Urbanears Humlan Mulberry (get them here)

Friday Faves

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I’ve been thinking of doing a new series on my blog for a while now and have decided to finally launch it today. I will be picking 3 things on Fridays that I’m currently obsessed with and will be sharing them with you. It can be accessories, beauty products, food, etc. I’m not going to limit myself to anything specific, just the three things that have got me excited right now! Here are my first three picks for my Friday Faves:

1) Urbanears – Humlan Mulberry – Can’t leave the house without my new Urbanears headphones that I recently purchased. Not only do they keep my ears warm but they’re also completely machine washable. I’ve been using them for running as well. They’re a great replacement for my iPhone earbuds that kept falling out of my ears. These headphones are adjustable, have a microphone and remote and also have socket that allows you to share your music with someone else. Most importantly, everything sounds great in them!

2) Stance Bglam Socks – Who said warm socks couldn’t also be cute? Stance always have the coolest sock designs. I love all of their bold colors and patterns. These guys are perfect for the holiday season. I’ve got them in grey and black. They keep warm and add some sparkle to my outfits!

3) Lacoste T119 Elf charger – The battery of my iPhone hasn’t been dealing well with the cold weather as of late. I love having this tiny little charger in my bag, it’s a daily lifesaver. All you have to do is charge it up overnight and it’ll give your phone 2-3 extra charges. Since I’m not planning on buying a new phone just yet, this will keep me going throughout my travels in the coming months!

What are some of your current obsessions? Share them with me! xo

FBOMB Fall/Winter Press Preview

Today was FBOMB’s Fall Winter 2014 Press Preview in Toronto. I was really excited to be able to check out some of the rad brands they represent including Stance socks (that I posted about yesterday here!) and also Native Shoes (the comfiest pair of shoes I own!! You can check out my post here). The lovely crew from Dela Cruz PR and FBOMB Trading welcomed us with yummy snacks, drinks and gave us a great tour around their different brands.

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 Not only was I happy to check out the new lines from some of the brands I already love but I was also really excited to make some new discoveries. One of the things I was most excited about was all the L*Space swimwear on display. It’s really hard for me to find a fashionable yet “functional” bathing suit for surfing and at the press preview tonight, I found just the suit. I absolutely love their new line because you can mix and match all of their pieces, they have great colors and also some “sportier” looks that can be worn when doing more than just taking a dip in the pool or a hot tub! I can totally see myself wearing some of these while surfing this summer!!

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I was super curious to see what was new in the world of Etnies and I was happy to see they’ve really updated the brand and now have some more “fitness” style shoes. Loved the different fabrics and colors! I remember owning a pair of Etnies in high school, trying to fit in with all the skater kids… Happy to see the brand has modernized and is still making cool shoes!

Being a big music lover, I was also excited to see Marshall and Urbanears Headphones being represented. I find it hard to find a good pair of headphones that are good for travel, that don’t hurt your ears after listening to music all day and that are also stylish. But I think I found what I was looking for tonight!

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Finally, a great line of eyewear from KOMONO were also on display. Love all the different styles, mirrored lenses, and colors! What’s great is that they are all around the $70 price point! Wohoo!

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A personal favorite of the press preview – they were serving a cheese platter from The Cheese Boutique! I couldn’t resist!