Glam Squad

What's the best part about going to a wedding?  Getting ready of course, with the excuse to go all out!  Making an appointment to get a much needed new hair cut, booking an appointment to get your makeup done, maybe buying a new lipstick or even a good enough excuse to buy a new pair of shoes.  Sure, a wedding should be about celebrating the union and love of the bride and groom, absolutely! But come on, it presents a nice opportunity to take things up a notch and let girls be girls - the extreme versions of themselves.  

This past Saturday I was invited to my cousin's wedding and this time I have to admit the idea of getting glam wasn't as thrilling as it usually is.  Usually I am so excited to find the prefect dress or at least accessorize an old dress differently to make it new again.  But this time, I wasn't even quite sure if the dress I planned to wear was going to fit me come the big day.  In the weeks leading up to the wedding I panicked and bought a back up dress just in case my baby bump was busting at the seams.  I even made an arrangement with the sales associate who offered to let me return the dress late if it didn't fit (fellow woman are certainly sympathetic of such a situation).  Well come the day of, the dress fit after all. I decided to wear the dress I changed into on my wedding day.  Mostly because I was so proud that it still fit at 6 months pregnant, and while it fit, it certainly didn't fit the same!  Once a slinky, graze the body dress become a hold on tight and don't let go kind of a situation. 

While sometimes I don't bother getting my hair and makeup done for a wedding I knew this time I needed some TLC to put a little extra pep in my step and make me feel at least some version of hot.  I called in the big guns, my fave beauty duo - Vicky Mina for makeup and Fred Conners (FRED.) for hair.  I can't say enough about these two.  I barely have to speak and somehow they both leave me with what I wanted, maybe even what I didn't know I wanted.  They both have an intuition that takes their knowledge of the trade to a different level of customer satisfaction.  Take it from me.  The next time you're in the market, don't hesitate, go to them! 

After it all, the wedding was a blast and certainly a good day for the old self esteem.  Do yourself a favor and give yourself the gift of glam once in a while.  It feels damn good and it's much cheaper than therapy!  Here are some pics of the night's look.

Dress: BCBG Max Azria

Float

Halifax is about to feel a whole lot better thanks to Lindsay!  After moving back home about a year ago from Vancouver, Lindsay has left her 9-5 office routine as an engineer behind to open up a floatation wellness centre here in Halifax. Don't know what a floatation centre is? Don't feel bad, before talking to Lindsay, I didn't either.  Read on to hear more about Lindsay and the wonderful world of floating. All I can say is, I'm in!


Tell us a bit about yourself?

Not to sound cheesy, but my Twitter bio likely describes me best: Meditation, craft beer, music, @TheFloatCentre, @ladybeerleague.  I attack with love, am an open book and am in love with hops, Halifax & happiness.

What were you doing before this business venture? 

I was practicing as an environmental engineer in Vancouver, BC.  I moved back to Halifax about a year ago and have been working & volunteering in the craft beer industry while developing this fun business concept.

Why the change? 

Simply put: I wasn't happy.  And that needed to change.  I knew I wanted to do something where I could help people.  I spent a lot of time meditating about what my purpose was, and how I could serve others.  And here I am!

What is your biggest challenge in opening up a new business in NS?

Overcoming the 'have not' mindset. I just don't buy into it and instead surround myself with positive people who are doing good things in the community.

Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to open a business here?

Do NOT buy into that mindset.  There is a lot of great activity going on in this city - just check out the North End! - don't get caught up in the lack mentality that others may expel.  Keep a positive perspective, know when to lean on others and keep following your passion.  Oh, and be a nice person.  You should always be kind to others.

What is floating?

Floating is amazing!  During a typical float session, you enter into a sensory deprivation tank (or float tank, isolation tank/chamber) which contains 10" of water with approximately 900lbs of Epsom salts dissolved in the solution.  You lay down and float buoyantly atop of the water.  The surroundings are void of light, sound and smell, and the temperature of the water is the same as that of your relaxed skin's surface.  So, after some time, you no longer feel the water.  When your senses are deprived like this, you enter into a deep state of relaxation.  It's a holistic therapy that's great for everyone and has been around since the 1960s.  There are decades of scientific research highlighting the awesomeness of floating - the more I read, the more I believe in the power of floating.

What are the benefits of floating? 

Pain relief (especially those with chronic pain & fibromyalgia), relaxation, improvement in sleep quality, a decrease in stress, anxiety and depression, an improvement in mental clarity, physical rehabilitation, reduction of jetlag.... the list goes on.  It's great for boosting your meditation practice, which is what I'm excited about.

Who Should Float?

Everyone! Seriously.  Every person who enters into a float tank will experience some sort of benefit.  The magnesium absorption (from the Epsom salts) into your body, alone, has powerful benefits.  It's great for pregnant women, athletes, yogis, seniors, men, women - you name it, you'll love it.

When can Haligonians expect your business to be open?

Aiming for early 2015.  I'm currently securing a location in the HRM.

Where can the public find out more about your business/Floating?

You can check out The Floatation Centre on all forms of social media:

My website: www.thefloatationcentre.ca, on

Twitter: @TheFloatCentre

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheFloatationCentre

and of course, if you have any questions, give me a shout: hello@thefloatationcentre.com


I don't know about you but I am going to be first in line when The Floatation Centre opens its doors. All the best Lindsay and thanks for sharing your story!  I'll leave you all with this...

The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the
individual himself.

Saul Alinsky said that, and he was right. In almost every
case, nothing is stopping you, nothing is holding you back
but your own thoughts about yourself and about "how life is."
 
Your personal freedom to experience yourself and life
as you wish is not being limited. Step into your choices
and stop telling yourself that you can't, when what you
really mean is that you don't want other people to feel the
way you think they are going to feel when they see you making
the choices you really want to make. Got it?
- Neale Donald Walsch
 

That Pregnancy Glow

It's a myth, right?  It can't possibly be a real thing, can it? Between the weight gain, bloating, exhaustion, headaches, heartburn and itching skin I can't say that I feel like I'm glowing in any capacity.  Is the pregnancy glow supposed to grace me with its presence despite all of the aforementioned? Am I supposed to look especially attractive now that I'm with child?

Last night I Googled images of 'pregnant celebrities' simply to see how high the bar could be set for looking attractive during pregnancy.  I figured with all the expert help and guidance they would manage to make us common people feel pretty shitty about ourselves.  Turns out I was actually pleasantly surprised to find that Mother Nature touches us all despite our celebrity status.  Just Google images of 'Mila Kunis pregnant' and you will see what I mean - overgrown boobs, strange fitting pants, awkwardly fashioned bumps, tired faces - I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty happy to see it all.  While I don't believe in giving in to Mother Nature completely, I do know that accepting significant loss of control over your body is something you must master in order to stay sane.  As for those certain people that make pregnancy look flawless - Halle Berry, Miranda Kerr, Olivia Wilde, Shakira - well, some people just get lucky.

One sure fire way to get that pregnancy glow is to set up flattering light and take photographs at all the right angles.  That's just what I did.  Here's what I came up with.  22 weeks and counting.

Giving Thanks

This thanksgiving I am especially grateful. These are things I am grateful for:

  1. My husband.  Some days I am still in awe of the idea that we get to live in the same house and hang out all the time. 
  2. My parents.  I truly didn't realize until I become an adult just how much they love me and how I will never have enough time to repay them for all that they've done for me.  This sinks in more and more with each passing day.  I will forever be indebted to them.
  3. My sisters and brother.  As I get older, and friends come and go with the natural cycles of life, the more I realize that there is no one more committed to being there for me, when I need them or even when I don't. 
  4. Feeling safe.  Feeling safe in the relationships and friendships in my life.  Not having to worry about people's motives and intentions all the time.
  5. Feeling free.  Not just the 'I live in a free country' kind of free but more of an 'I'm free to be who I am' kind of free.  Being who I am and not who others want me to be. That kind of free. 
  6. Knowing I am loved and how it gives me the ability to unravel and be careless now and again without consequence.
  7. Getting older.  I am thankful for all the experiences I've been fortunate to have and how there is no where in the world I'd rather be then where I am in my life right now.  I certainly do not miss my twenties and for that I am grateful!
  8. Getting pregnant.  Getting pregnant wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.  It's not always like it is in the movies.  The day I found out I was pregnant will forever be one of the most vividly memorable and emotional days of my life. 
  9. Being pregnant.  Sure there are many physical downsides, but knowing there is a little baby girl growing inside me is a completely surreal and magical feeling.  The wildest trip, the ultimate blessing.

Over the halfway hump now.  Here's what week 21 looks like for me...

Mother's Intuition?

Since I can remember I have always imagined having a baby girl.  It made more sense to me. I was after all, a girl.  All of my experience in this life has been as a girl and I always felt like I had a lot to offer as a mother of a girl. I think so far I can look back and confidently say that I've been a pretty ballsy girl - often breaking social/cultural norms all in the name of finding and expressing true self and sometimes at the expense of temporarily disappointing the people I know to love me the most.  I have always felt like a pretty intuitive person.  Despite the frequent indecision and contemplation of being an easily influenced human (being human), I always knew deep down that I was the only person who truly knew what was right for me.  In fact I know that to be true for most of us.  And so, with all that I've learned through experience, and with intuition as my guide, I have always wanted to mother a girl, even if just to be an empathetic, open minded, supportive anchor in all things girl.  I know what it's like, I know it's not easy.

The last four and a half months have been the strangest experience for me.  Since almost the day I found out I was pregnant I had a strong belief that I was carrying a boy.  I have no idea where it came from.  Was it some old wives tale that I read and got stuck in my head?  Was it the cultural pressure to have a proud son to carry on my husbands last name?  Was it what I really wanted? Was it a defense against my fear of not getting what I really wanted? Was it intuition? I have no clue, but it was damn real.

After heavy contemplation my husband and I decided to find out the sex of our baby as soon as we could.  Both being anal engineers and me being so damn anxious we figured it best to have less surprises on delivery day.  Besides, for me it was just officiating what I already knew to be true - I was having a boy.  We got our doctor to put the baby's gender in a sealed envelope and decided to throw a little celebration with our closest friends and family around to reveal the baby's gender.  We gave the sealed envelope to a cake maker and had them make us a cake that was dyed either blue or pink on the inside.

Leading up to the party I kept imagining cutting into the cake and seeing a sea of blue.  I couldn't even imagine the cake being pink inside. Unfathomable.

Then the day of the party came, we cut into the cake and the suspense was finally over. 

Well, I was dead wrong.  I truly think I experienced the biggest shock of my life in that moment.  How could I have been so wrong?  What a bizarre feeling.  My initial shock made it hard for me to truly embrace the news.  I did after all just spend the last 4 and a half months envisioning having a baby boy.  I felt so removed and confused.  Slowly as the shock of that moment had passed I was able rest back into my long running excitement and hope to have a baby girl to care for, to guide, to teach to be human and to be herself, and to dress the heck out of.  I truly could not be happier.  Thank you Universe.

As for my mother's intuition, well, I need to work on that. 

PS if you're a highly anxious person (like myself) I am not so sure I'd recommend a gender reveal party as a way to find out the sex of your baby.  I almost had a panic attack and I kind of hated it in the moment.  So much pressure.  Looking back I am glad I did it though.  Remembering the excitement of family and friends who felt so invested in the moment meant a lot to me and now I will always have that memory.

Here's a few photos from the party...

Cake by: Frosting Cake and Event Design