This stylish notebook might just be hottest organizing accessory of the year.
Everyone is supposed to have 24 hours in a day but for some us, it feels like there must be a rip in the space-time continuum. How else can you explain being constantly busy but having nothing to show for it? If this sounds familiar, learn how you can make the most of your time with our five fave productivity tips.
1. Write it down
Billed as "the analog solution for a digital age," the Bullet Journal is a diary, to-do list and catch-all for all your random thoughts. Developed by Brooklyn-based designer Ryder Carroll, this trendy organizing method involves writing down quick, memory jogging statements rather than complex entries. Use it to organize your tasks by day and month pages, keep tabs of books you want to read and things you want to buy or create new lists whenever inspiration strikes. An indexing system allows you to quickly find what you're looking for.
2. Plan your time
Sort of like HIIT for your to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique involves working on your tasks for a short, timed cycle of 25 minutes. With no distractions allowed, it’s great way for those with short attention spans to focus. Take a 5-minute break before starting your next 25 minutes of work and, after four of these cycles, you're rewarded with a longer, half-hour break. Sound a bit too structured? Maybe that's why it works—it was voted the most popular productivity technique by the readers of lifehacker.com.
3. Try a tech-savvy solution
The If This Then That app might be the closest you'll ever come to a personal assistant. Got any apps on your phone? Automate their functions by using If This Then That statements, or as IFTTT calls them, “recipes.” For example: get an early morning text when the forecast calls for rain, use it to get coffee going without getting out of bed (using a programmable outlet) or tell the family you're on your way home (with an email triggered by your location app once you've left work).
4. Go KonMari on your clutter
While organizing trendsetter Marie Kondo’s method of minimal living has been criticized for being a bit too twee, an organized, uncluttered home can be key to increased efficiency. "In most cases, things that function well are inherently neat and clean," says Clare Kumar, a professional organizer based in Toronto. It's not hard to see why. Simply owning less makes it easier for you to find what you need and streamlines your decision making (no need to choose between your 6 pairs of jeans, for example), saving you time that can be better spent elsewhere.
5. Let it go
There'll be days you can't get to everything. Your work presentation sits unfinished, the house is a mess and dinner was takeout (again!). Instead of stressing out, try to cut yourself some slack. "Our bodies burn out when stuck in fast-forward," says Carl Honoré, an expert on the topic of slow living. Sometimes the best way to be productive is to take some time out to recharge. So curl up with a good book, take a long bath, or enjoy a glass of wine...guilt free! After all, there's always tomorrow.
The Big Reveal: Canadian Living February 2017 Image by: Alvaro Goveia
Looking to refresh her life, insurance professional, wife and mother Marta Magyar-Gaal embraced a dramatic new look—with stunning results. "The whole experience felt like Pretty Woman. It's made me feel that I am important, worthy and capable of incorporating style into my life."
In the past few years, Marta Magyar-Gaal has faced several hardships. "I've gone through quite a bit of stress, in addition to a lot of physical changes," says Marta. A cancer survivor, she was recently diagnosed with vitilego (a skin disease characterized by a loss of pigment), which has made getting dresses extra challenging. "It mostly affects my arms and hands, so sleeves are a must," she says. In the thick of menopause, she's also experiences some hormonal weight gain and aggravation of her rosacea. With all of these new challenges, Marta was ready to embrace something positive: a brand-new look that matches her brilliant, funny and animated personality.
Roger Medina, a hair ambassador for Garnier Canada, loved Marta's curls but felt she needed to make a stronger style statement. In the end, the key to her look was a dyed 'do. Going blonde wasn't a drastic change for Marta, who already had partially lightened hair, so Medina felt that enhancing her natural curls would give her an edge. He lightened Marta's hair all over, with the exception of a bit of her roots to keep the colour low maintenance. For the photo shoot, Medina wanted to style Marta's hair differently than what's she's used to, so he gave her smooth waves. "I used a one-inch-barrel curling iron and divided the hair into two-inch sections," he says. "Then, I curled the hair around the face backward, and the hair at the back of the head toward the face, which gave her hair a bit of an S-shape."
A novice to makeup, Marta's major challenge is trying to even out her complexion, which is complicated by her rosacea and vitilego. She sometimes wears foundation, but she'll add mascara and lipstick only when she's feeling fancy. Keeping Marta's low-maintenance approach in mind, Plutino Group makeup artists Jodi Urichuk gave her soft, luminous and pretty makeup that highlighted several of her beautiful features. Urichuk started with a green-tinged primer to counteract the red in Marta's skin, then used a full-coverage satin-finish foundation. "It still looks natural," says Urichuk. Next, she applied a wash of taupe cream shadow to her eyelids and a metallic brown eyeliner, which she blended on an angle to give the appearance of larger eyes. To finish the look, Urichuk chose a soft-pink lip stain and a lip pencil in a similar hue, buffing and blending the lines with a brush.
Essie Nail Polish in Midnight Cami, $10, essie.ca. Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil, $59, caudalie.com. Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Redness Correcting Primer, $45, sephora.ca. Garnier Fructis Moisture Lock 10-in-1 Rescue Leave-In Detangler, $7, shoppersdrugmart.ca.
When Marta visited the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris in Toronto, senior esthetician Alexandra Weisseneder noted that her sensitive and rosacea-prone complexion was in desperate need of hydration. Weisseneder recommended ingredients such as chamomile, grape water and jojoba oil to help calm and nourish her skin. She also advised Marta to use an overnight oil instead of a cream. "It's a bit more active and has more highly concentrated ingredients," says Weisseneder. Going forward, Marta will also use SPF coverage year-round to help protect her sensitive skin from the elements.
In Marta's youth, her style has edge, but as she matured, other priorities took precedence. "My style is pretty boring. I wear black on black on black and, sometimes, I add white," she says. Melissa Evans-Lee, the marketing director for Bayview Village shopping centre in Toronto, wanted to take Marta our of the darkness and into the light. She created an ensemble that was comfortable and stylish and had polished elements that Marta craves, while still steering her in a new direction. "Marta is petite, so it was important to choose a look that would elongate her small frame," says Evans-Lee. A luxurious cream-coloured turtleneck with flecks of sparkle proved the foundation; the tight-fitting high collar creates a longer visual line. Layering a fringed shawl over a sweater or coat is one of Evans-Lee's favourite winter styling tips. For Marta, she chose a windowpane-plaid cashmere shawl, adding a pair of ecru trousers to give the look some structure and a pair of suede booties to solidify the polished influence.
Shawl, $189, turtleneck, $189, and pants, $139, Talbots. Dean Davidson earrings, Cupido. Handbag, Sandro Ferrone. Booties, Stuart Weitzman. All clothing and accessories available at Bayview Village shopping centre in Toronto.
"I softened the corners of her nails because of the dark colour; I didn't want the manicure to look overly aggressive," says Essie Canada lead nail artist and global lead educator Rita Remark.
"I was living a girl's dream, having people teach me how to present my best self—not to mention the full attention given to me. It was quite overwhelming at time," says Marta. "The overall experience was amazing."
Ann Douglas shares her weight-loss story. Image by: David Wile
Ann Douglas shares how a walking routine and being kinder to herself helped her lose 120 pounds.I had almost given up on ever losing the extra weight I'd been carrying around my entire life. It was January 2013. I was staring down a milestone birthday (50) and the number on my scale (286 pounds). Heading into midlife with more than 100 extra pounds increased my odds of a premature death or disability. I wanted so much more for myself and my family.
|This story was originally titled "Many Steps Forward" in the October 2014 issue.|
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The best tuques, beanies and hats that will keep you stylish—and warm Image by: Free People
Keeping warm doesn't mean sacrificing style—even when it's just your winter hat.
Much like our other winter wear (boots, scarves, jackets), we really need our hats to keep us warm. That's priority number one. But, it helps when our head-topper picks are also stylish. Because when the weather gets cold—we're talking really, really, cold—you can't get away with ditching your tuque to save a good hair day. So you may as well find a tuque you love. One that's cute, trendy and reflects your personal sartorial tastes—and one that also happens to keep you warm.
Here are some of our favourite tuques of the season. Make sure to click through, because a lot of these styles are now on sale!
Ottawa 2017 hat, $38, roots.com.
Miss Selfridge badge beanie, $32, asos.com.
Icon shotting star beanie, $34, urbanoutfitters.com.
Merino Wool striped tuque, $35, gapcanada.ca.
Arborist Hockey toque, $30, drakegeneralstore.ca.
Two-tone knit tuque, $33, ae.com.
HBC stripe tuque, $60, thebay.com.
Leopard print beanie, $30, mango.com.
The North Face knit beanie, $32, sportinglife.ca.
Pull & Bear logo hat, $20, asos.com.
Knit beret, $37, freepeople.com.
Tna slouchy grey hat, $35, aritzia.com.
Redhot multi-colour stripe hat, $45, sportinglife.ca.
BCBGeneration Knit Tuque, $38, thebay.com.
Camo hat, $24, urbanoutfitters.com.
River Island embellished hat, $36, asos.com.
Neutral marled beanie, $30, gapcanada.ca.
Multi-coloured pom pom hat, $18, zara.com.
Rainbow stripe beanie, $50, freepeople.com.
Babaton ombre hat, $55, aritzia.com.
Kate Spade rosette hat, $78, thebay.com.