Learning to run

runcollage

Something I’ve grown particularly fond of over the last few years is running. It started off as a way to lose the few pounds I’d gained during university from eating late-night junk food and drinking beer a bit too often. It turned into something extremely fulfilling for both my body and mind. Over the weekend, I ran my first 5k race – a fun run featuring hundreds of Ugly Christmas Sweaters! I was happy with my time and pace, especially since I was totally overheating by the end in my chunky red sweater.

Here’s the thing though. Like so many folks who decide to start running, I totally sucked at it for a while. Stopping, starting, running out of breath, getting horrible side cramps, giving up for weeks at a time, maxing out at 1k, giving up again, maxing out at 5k, wondering if I’d ever be able to run more than that. You know how it goes. Over time, though, I began to realize that that learning curve was natural – so I figured I’d pass on some tips for getting into running based on my experience.

1. Slow and steady does win the race
I started out thinking I was a total failure if I wasn’t running 5k within a couple weeks. Not true. Your body needs to get used to the whole running thing – let’s be real, most of us spend most of our days sitting at desks. Running is the opposite end of the spectrum. What that in mind, give yourself a nice long stretch of time to slowly train. Programs like Couch to 5k are a great way to start. And that brings me to my next point.

2. Set a goal
Sure, you can run aimlessly without knowing how far you’re going, but there’s something truly exciting about hitting a milestone. Start off with a goal of 2k… then 5k… then maybe work up to a 10k (I finally hit that mark this year.) It won’t happen overnight, but having something to shoot for can keep you motivated.

3. Use a buddy system
Few things are better motivation then friends. (Preferably ones who nag a little bit). I also run with my boyfriend, which helps push me a bit farther. If none of your friends are into running, try joining a running club. For instance, in Toronto, the Parkdale Roadrunners meet every week and welcome beginners. Google local running clubs to see what’s around in your area!

4. Sign up for a race
We all like to get our money’s worth for things. So why not sign up for a race to give you incentive to train? Pay the fee, sign up for one that’s a few months away, then just keep on running. It’ll give you a goal to strive for and help you set a concrete timeline and schedule to get you there. Sign up with friends to help motivate you all. And then enjoy the satisfaction of pursuing a goal!

Do you have running tips to share? Let me know in the comments!

Autumn prep

Autumn prep Autumn prep

Autumn prepCoat: Zara (old) | Sweater: J. Crew (Similar) | Chambray shirt: J. Crew

We took a stroll through Toronto’s lovely Cabbagetown neighbourhood over the weekend, and boy, it was chilly! This crisp autumn weather necessitates lots of layers – meaning a preppy pairing like chambray under a sweater makes perfect sense.

Do you have any favourite layered outfits?

Gold shimmer manicure

IMG_0850

It’s November, and you know what that means – holiday party season is a-comin’! I’m always looking for new ways to add some glam to my look for the holiday season without breaking the bank, and an at-home manicure definitely does the trick. To get this gold shimmer, I layered on two types of polish – a matte base and a sparkly second coat, using Revlon’s “Elegant” shade and China Glaze’s “Champagne Kisses.”

IMG_0844

IMG_0848

Do you have any go-to manicures for the holiday season?

A little bit in love with Hudson’s Bay

IMG_0478

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t step foot into the Bay. (Unless my mother dragged me, of course.) But Jordan and I went for a stroll through the iconic Canadian department store recently and were in love with… well, pretty much everything. The whole store is filled with fantastic brands, beautiful displays, and some fun pop-up shops. Basically it’s a goldmine for potential Christmas presents – I definitely know where I’ll be doing a chunk of my shopping this year!

IMG_0479

How fun are these shoes? Chuck Taylors adorned with the instantly recognizable Hudson’s Bay stripes.

IMG_0494

There was a full Kate Spade display at the Eaton Centre location. Pure gold for a KS lover like me.

IMG_0480

Ridiculously adorable phones? Check.

IMG_0488

Here’s the fun part – pop-up shops! Now, instead of trudging outside to a Drake General Store, you can just head to the Hudson’s Bay basement. You’re welcome.

IMG_0485

IMG_0486

IMG_0489

IMG_0484

Also awesome: The Brika pop-up shop. Handmade goods, all beautifully designed (above).

Bottom line? The Bay is fantastic nowadays… and definitely worth a visit.

Classy Camo

allthingsnice.ca

allthingsnice.ca

allthingsnice.ca

allthingsnice.ca

Coat: Zara (Old) | Shirt: Gap | Necklace: Aldo (Similar)
Skirt: H&M | Purse: Club Monaco | Shoes: Nine West (Old)

I’ve never been a huge fan of camo for clothes – especially the big, chunky variety that looks way too much like actual military gear. But when I spotted this skirt on sale at H&M, I decided to give it a shot. I love how it gives a bit of an edge to an outfit!

Brown & black

allthingsnice.ca

1. Calvin Klein | 2. Mango | 3. Tory Burch | 4. Kate Spade | 5. Tory Burch | 6. Zara | 7. J.Crew

I used to be so, so against brown & black together. “They clash, they’re too similar, it just doesn’t work,” I used to say. Then I was inspired by a Calvin Klein bag I spotted in Hudson’s Bay recently – I liked it so much that I immediately Instagrammed it – so I decided to explore brown & black a bit more. Safe to say, I’m a fan now… it’s a pairing that definitely works.

High vs. low: Striped tees with sparkle

stripedtees

High: J. Crew | Low: Old Navy

I’m a big fan of striped shirts – and I love that some of the ones in stores lately have a little something extra. However, you don’t have to pay a fortune for some sparkle and bling to upgrade a basic t-shirt. The J. Crew option will set you back almost $80, but you can have the same look by layering a necklace over a regular t-shirt (and then you’re able to wear the necklace with other outfits too – more bang for your buck, in my opinion.) Alternatively, you can grab a cheap Old Navy tee with some sparkle… or even go the DIY route if you’re feeling crafty!