4 Step DIY Succulent Terrarium

Okay so if there is one thing to know about me right now, it is that I am OBSESSED with succulents!

They are adorable, come in several shapes and sizes and also happen to be pretty hard to kill (an added bonus). So I thought to myself, how can I fill my life with more succulents? Well this is where my quick DIY comes in.

Supplies:

  • succulents (1-3 depending on your bowl size)
  • glass fish bowl
  • rocks (or seashells!)

Step 1: Gather your 3 supplies, whether that may be from your local farmers market, dollar store or your own backyard. I was able to score these beautiful succulents from a local farmers market, but I have also seen them available at local grocery stores and flower shops. You can easily find a glass fish bowl, or any kind of glass vase shape that you prefer from a dollar store or department store. A bag of rocks can be found in mother nature the dollar store.

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Step 2: Fill up your glass bowl or vase with your rocks. Save 6-8 rocks that you would like to decorate around the succulent.

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Step 3: Gently pull out your succulent from the container and pour remaining soil on top of rocks. Place and position your succulent(s) until you smile 🙂

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Step 4: Decorate the top soil layer with your remaining rocks, et voila you have an adorable succulent terrarium!

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Top 12 Adventurous Instagrammers

If you read my very first blog post, you will know that I am a big fan of Instagram (my IG laurenmarie_mac). I love how when done right, it is a visual source of imagery that captures exciting and inspirational moments within someone’s life. A photograph has the ability to capture a moment that someone deems to be worth preserving, whether that may be beautifully arranged fresh flowers, a sparkling lake or the local culture of a foreign country. There is a reason we photograph, we may not always be sure why, but in that moment we feel the need to preserve a record of reality.

With that being said, I want to share with you my top Adventurous Instagrammers for 2014. Majority of those listed have some association with board culture (surf and snow), nature, and the overall laid back lifestyle. The reason I find them so intriguing is because their photos capture appreciation of the moment which inspires and motivates me to remain mindful and adventure out of my comfort zone.

1. Flickpalmateer
Felcity Palmateer is a pro surfer from Australia who is incredibly talented at drawing art, especially mandala prints. If you want to see images of the ocean and a laid back surf lifestyle, with an emphasis on creativity than be sure to check her out.

flick palm

2. wandertosea
This IGer is a nature adventurer who wanders from Hawaii to Yellowstone, stopping for a scenic yoga pose as she goes. If you appreciate nature, mountain views and yoga, then you will be sure to enjoy her posts popping up on your feed.

wandertosea

3. misshalimarie
Miss Hali Marie is my most recent IG find that I am currently loving. The majority of her posts feature the true beauty of the West Coast through the eyes of an adventurous hiker. The quality of her photos make nature lovers like myself quite eager to get back outside and enjoy all of the seasons.

miss hali marie

4. natemuskoka
As a seasoned cottager, I had to put a local Muskokan on this list. If you have never heard of Ontario’s cottage country, Muskoka, then you will be in for a treat with this IGer. Get ready for stunning sunsets, peaceful waters and the classic Canadian canoe trip.

natemuskoka

5. izzimeowww
This girl right here lives the life of surf, yoga, board and repeat. Her photos capture her embracing the moment and living life in the now out on the west coast of Canada. Her focus on clean eating might also help with her amazingly fit body.

izzimeowww

6. mountain_adventures
IGer Warren, shares his weekend adventures out in Washington State’s mountains. His summit views are outstanding and make you want to pack up your hiking shoes and head for the nearest trail with a stunning view.

mountain adventures

7. jennabeaann
Canadian Olympic snowboarder Jenna Blasman shares her world travels while training as a professional snowboarder. Her laid back Whistler lifestyle, motivational quotes, healthy eats and insane snowboard jumps, makes for an entertaining Instagram feed.

jennabeaan

8. emilymmasse
Another great adventurer who enjoys hiking to panoramic views of aqua lakes, tall trees and majestic waterfalls.

emily masse

9. xococoho
Professional surfer from Hawaii, Coco Ho is a household name in the surf world. Her laid back surfer life showcases beautiful oceans, beaches, waves and of course her smiley personality.

cocoho

10. instagramwhistler
If you want an depth look at one of the most magical places on Canada’s West Coast, then Instagramwhistler’s IG account will hit the spot. This professional photographer is able to capture the essence of Whistler throughout all four seasons making it hard for you to resist booking the next flight out to Van. If you are like me, waiting for vacation days, then this IG account will help subside your west coast cravings.

ig whistler

11. jamieanderson
USA gold medalist Olympic snowboarder, Jamie Anderson showcases her boarder lifestyle with her stunning photos training around the world, yoga poses and lots of action packed GoPro shots.

JAnderson

12. tayeg
My most recent IG discovery was tayeg’s account. She is a Canadian professional snowboarder who embraces the laid back boarder culture that includes a fondness for surf, yoga, travel and exploring. She also happens to be an incredible artist, often showcasing her commissioned pieces.

Tayeg

 

Please comment with your favourite Instagrammers, I love finding new people to follow!

Wanderlust: A strong desire or urge to travel or wander

Lately I’ve been feeling the call of wanderlust. This prompted me to go through some of my hiking photos to see what I could share with you in a photo gallery on my wanderlust page.

Hiking, cottaging and enjoying nature is an essential component of my life. I find that by getting out and exploring what mother nature has to offer, has the most calming effect on my never ending thoughts. Lately, I have been trying to explore what Ontario has to offer since I do not have the finances or vacation time to explore further. Some of my recent adventures this past summer and fall in Ontario included:

Elora Gorge, Ontario.

Elora Gorge, Elora, Ontario.

Algonquin Park, Ontario.

Track and Tower hike, Algonquin Park, Ontario.

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Cheltenham Badlands, Caledon, Ontario.

I already know I will be adventuring in Muskoka and Collingwood this winter, and I can not wait! Bring on the snow because it’s sled and ski time for me! But as soon as I get some vaycay…HELLO WHISTLER!

Where is your wanderlust urging you to go?

The Green Smoothie Bandwagon

Tonight I decided I would give the trendy green smoothie a try, and there is no greater test than before a swim practice workout.

On Mondays and Wednesdays I have swim practice from 7:30-9 pm. Of course this is the most awkward timing since I am generally pretty hungry after work but can’t eat too much because I am about to get in the pool for an hour and half. So after hearing good things from my fitness and health fanatic friends, I figured tonight was the night to find something that could sustain me during my fitness routine, whilst aiding in my weight loss goals.
The verdict: It surprisingly tasted delicious! And I had enough energy to swim without feeling sick.

How I made my smoothie,

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup purple Kale (I figured purple would reduce the grosse factor since I was still unsure about drinking liquid vegetables)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package Weight Watchers French Vanilla smoothie mix (this has a vanilla flavour in addition to protein, which I needed to fuel me through the workout. You can add any protein powder you have but be mindful of the calorie count)
  • ½ of an apple, diced
  • 5 pieces of frozen mango chunks

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Equipment:

  • I used the small magic bullet, which has individual sized serving cups (perfect for keeping your portion in control because fruit does have a lot of sugar, you can sometimes get carried away)

Instructions:

  • First blend kale, spinach, milk and protein powder together so that the spinach and kale is broken up. (I wanted to reduce the chance of having random chunks of Kale so I blended for approx. 1 minute)
  • Then add the apple and blend the mixture
  • Finally add a couple of frozen mango pieces to add more fruity flavour (an added bonuses is that it makes it nice and cold)
  • Drink away!

Points Plus Value: 4 (skim milk & Weight Watchers Smoothie) all fruit and vegetables are 0.

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Tip: Make another smoothie in a magic bullet travel mug with the cap cover (or any bottle container) so that you have breakfast or pre workout snack prepared for the next day.

5 Ways To Be Cozy

With fall winding down and the winter season upon us, the weather has begun occasionally sprinkling down snowflakes on a cold crisp morning. This change in season evokes the coziest of feelings where you just want to bundle up and hibernate in your house binge watching all of the latest series – Netflix anyone? So with that I have compiled the top 5 ways to make yourself feel cozy this winter.

  1. A great smelling candle. Invest in a well-made scented candle that can evoke the most nostalgic of memories. They say scents have the power to trigger memories, so use that to your advantage by triggering the things that make you happy. For example the smell of warm gingerbread cookies reminding you of Christmas, the smell of pine needles reminding you of a cozy cottage cabin or my personal favorite the smell of apple cinnamon because who doesn’t like homemade apple pies? I am currently loving the Yankee Candle’s Christmas Cookie™ scent, because the scent of freshly baked cookies always says cozy.
  1. A big giant mug. There is nothing like a big mug with a pretty design or inspirational saying that makes you appreciate the moment, check out my mug designs for some inspiration (Etsy page coming soon). Be sure to fill up your mug with something nice and hot! Hot chocolate is always a sure fire winner for feeling cozy.
  1. Expand your herbal tea collection. There are now so many different varieties of herbal tea out there, that it would be hard to claim you don’t drink it. I am a big fan of loose leaf tea and love trying out the sample boxes from David’s Tea, they currently have all of their Christmas sample gift boxes out, so it’s the perfect time to taste test.
  1. Cable Knitted socks. It’s hard to feel warm and cozy when your feet are cold! Find the coziest of socks or slippers that you can, so that when you slip them on, you know it’s time to relax.I really like these cable knitted boot socks from American Eagle in the cream colour, an added bonus is that they will look super cute peeking out from you Hunter Rain boots, Uggs or Sorrels.
  1. A good book. This is the final piece of the puzzle to ensuring your coziness level is at a full 5. Curling up with a good book under several layers of blankets with your candle lit, herbal tea in a big mug and warm cozy cable knitted socks is the definition of coziness don’t you think? I am currently reading Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl autobiography, any fan of the hit HBO series Girls will love the personal life accounts from Dunham as her quirkiness is strongly evident throughout the chapters.

I’d love to hear how you stay cozy? Comment with any recommendations on your favourite candles, teas and books for this winter season, it’s going to be a long one in Canada.

Have a happy and cozy Sunday!

Xo L

Are You There Blog World? It’s Me Lauren

After months of thought and internal debate, I finally took the plunge last night and made a blog. Now you may ask, what took me so long to do this? Well it all comes down to finding that inspiration that gives you the final nudge for motivation. Maybe that sentence doesn’t quite make sense, but please let me explain.

With a BA Honors in Popular Culture you can most certainly bet that I am no stranger to the world of social media. I had dabbled in Tumblr blogging from time to time, but hardly kept up the maintenance because in university your perfect excuse is “I don’t have time!” In retrospect I certainly did have time, I’d waste weekend’s binge watching The OC and recovering from the gnarly hangover caused by last night’s rowdy game of flip cup.

Upon graduation in summer of 2012, I treated myself to a six week west coast adventure with good friends. And that is where my love for Instagram intensified.  Banff, Jasper, Kelowna, Penticton, Whistler, Victoria and Vancouver were a scenic non stop world of natural beauty that can only be described as majestic. I had the perfect back drop for any photo, so of course my IG game stepped up a couple of notches. When I returned home I was in love with capturing the perfect photo, the photo that film theorist André Bazin so accurately describes as able to capture an imprint of reality…like footprints in the snow.

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View from the summit at Sulphur Ridge in Jasper.321

With my love for Instagram I soon found myself scouring my IPhone religiously at all times of the day being inspired by the lives of other Instagrammers I had followed. Some were nature enthusiasts, some were professional surfers and some were my favourite brands with surfer laid back Cali vibes. Essentially, I’d look at photos and think wow I would love to be doing that, to be taking photos, to be writing content, to create the lifestyle brand.

Flash forward to September 2013-August 2014 where I completed a post grad in corporate communications, I now had the hard skills to back up my theoretical knowledge. As I carried out the final months in my communications internship I began to narrow in on popular fashion bloggers Instagrams. How did they do it? How do they get their photos to look so perfect? Wait… what they make money off this? So let’s just say I was INSPIRED and have begun setting up pretty blog photos…my quest for the perfect DLSR camera will soon commence.

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And that’s where the inspiration starts, I began seeing creativity all around me. I began to apply my art skills to hand drawn mugs with inspirational quotes and positive sayings and even have my first craft sale coming up, because I decided the time is now to do all the things I’ve always wanted to do!

Recently I’ve crossed paths with those that are beginning to make their dreams a reality. I’ve met with old friends or heard stories about acquaintances that have taken action and become entrepreneurs, turning their hobbies into full time jobs, because these people are not afraid, they are inspired.

So my hopes with this blog is to inspire, to create, to motivate. And with that I say, “You know all those things you have always wanted to do? Well it is time for you to go do them”, because the time is now, and the positive vibes are flowing.

xo L

Ps. The first post is always the longest.

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My inspiration, Raven Lake, Muskoka. The lake is always apart of me.