New Year, New Me...Week 2!

So how did Week 2 of the Beachbody challenge go?

Well, I can absolutely say that I have seen huge changes in my body. The top left photo is a comparison of week 1 and week 2. The inches are coming off and I am so much stronger already!

What I learned....I've learned that I don't always have to keep up with everyone on the workout. This is about my limits and my boundaries, and me pushing them. I've learned that I love working out in my yoga tights and a sports bra {never ever ever thought I'd say that!} and I've learned that I need new bras and underwear as mine are TOO BIG!

Day 1 Fit Test (left), Day 15 Fit Test (right)




I've also learned that I love the Heisman, football drills, sprints, hurdle jumps and still really hate burpees. I'm not sure that I will ever love them. And I learned on Day15 that I have made some serious progress in terms of my strength, speed and overall cardio health.

My proudest moments over the past week were getting through Plyometric Cardio without tears (see b/w photo of me smiling in the first collage) and having Owen run up to me after a workout yelling "Good Job, Mommy!" It also felt pretty darn good to be complimented and hear the words "thin", "lost alot of weight", "you look great" and "hello, skinny Shannon!"

I know that I still have alot of work to do, and it's only Day 15 of Insanity as I write this. I know that I will have some challenges ahead - like facing the scale and it's dirty mind tricks (even though there is a drop in weight -3lbs since Christmas) - but I also know what I see in the mirror, and what I feel in my heart; positive change.

I also started on Tuesday with Shakeology, which I will be having each and every morning as breakfast for the next 30 days, and the incorporating into my daily routine to remain healthy, get the proper nutrition to set up for an excellent day, and curb the cravings that have plagued me for most of my life {hello, chocolate and bread! I'm talking to you!}

I also have learned that even with the amount of determination and motivation that I have, I still fall every now and then, and my emotions can get the best of me. This is when having a coach like Dara is so important. I am so thankful to be able to send her a quick message saying Ok, so I don't feel so great about myself today and for her to remind me just why I am doing this, and how much I have accomplished in just two short weeks.

Next week, I'm going to experiment with some Shakeology recipes and test the waters to see what I like. So far, it's a such rich and yummy chocolate shake that I absolutely love starting the day with - it's seriously like having a milkshake and getting a chocolate fix all at once. My craving is satisfied, and I know that I'm putting incredible ingredients into my body to help fuel it for a busy day. Stay tuned!! Next week is all about Shakeology and how it can help you attain optimal health, without chemicals, and embracing positive change into your life!

On your own health journey? Setting positive examples for your kids? Let me know in the comments!!

Beachbody coach Dara Distel, before and after Shakeoloy

*Disclaimer: I am provided the Shakeology shakes by my Beachbody coach Dara Distel for the purposes of getting healthy, and blogging about the product.

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Introducing my BlogHer'13 Team!

It seems like just yesterday that I was packing my bags and boarding the plane for New York City to attend BlogHer'12. In reality, it was just over two months ago and I have learned so very much from going to the largest international blogging conference out there.

I'm already lining up sponsors for BlogHer'13 in Chicago, and am so happy to announce that TPH Canada, Tina Dean Designs, Kristine Cook Designs and Amber Bryce Luxe Bohemian are back on board with me!


Kristine Cook Designs created three stunning outfits for me for BlogHer'12, and I am thrilled to get the chance to showcase Kristine's ready-to-wear line in Chicago. Having seen her design book over dinner a few weeks ago, I know that they will be pieces that will be flattering on every body type and make you feel like you want to get out of your pj's in the morning. Kristine's work is amazing and she pays particular attention to detail with ruffles, buttons and other feminine touches that make her work one of a kind and truly unique.

Working with Tina Dean Designs this past year has been a dream come true. Tina has been working hard to become an expert in textile design, and boy does it show!  I'm really excited to be able to showcase Tina's amazing eco-chic designs in Chicago, and she's even collaborating with Kristine to make sure that my look is coordinated head-to-toe; amazing, eh?! I see some fabulous fused clutches in my future, and you can bet your bottom dollar that my messenger bag will make a reprise as my carry-on and Expo Hall bag!
Remember those incredible media cards that TPH printed for me a few months ago? Remember how they were absolutely incredible to work with, offered eco-options and funky shapes of business cards? Well they're joining up with me for my media cards that I'll be handing out to brands and bloggers in Chicago! Their printing services are absolutely amazing; high quality, digital printing at its finest. I cannot wait to share more information about this fantastic brand with you in monthly features!


I felt every bit the belle of the ball at BlogHer with my sparkly earrings, bracelet and amazing long necklace from Amber Bryce Luxe Bohemian, so I was thrilled when Amber emailed me to express interest in styling my accessories for BlogHer'13. Amber's designs are truly inspired and she uses only the best raw materials, from recycled metals to big sparkly druzies. I cannot wait to share Amber's new work with you and talk about the inspiration behind her designs.

More sponsors will be announced as the month's unfold, but I just could not wait to share this news with you all!

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MaryKay Ultimate Mascara

I received so many wonderful compliments on my makeup, specifically my lashes, while in NYC for BlogHer last month.

My secret? Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara

While my lashes are naturally long and dark, this mascara enhances their beauty.

Now, I'm not a big mascara wearer; I never have been. I find them thick, gunky and, since I wear contacts, they sting my eyes.



That was until I tried the Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara. It goes on so light and smooth, but packs such a punch! With just one layer, my lashes were dark and defined...and light. It didn't bother my contacts at all, and I didn't feel like I was wear a thick layer of gunk on my eyes.

This exclusive, all-in-one formula delivers the benefits you love most - long, thick, voluminous lashes. And it comes with new Smart Wiper™ technology that delivers the exact amount of mascara you need for maximum plumping - without the clumping.

See that? Smart Wiper technology! No more clumps, no more mess!  No more pumping and pumping the mascara tube to get your brush covered {which, by the way, leads to bacteria build up and can cause eye infections! yikes!}

At $21  tube, this fantastic mascara is a steal. So many others that are $8-$12, I find, are the ones that I don't like. It's definitely worth the extra few dollars to know that I am getting a high quality product, that won't sting my eyes and that will leave my lashes lovely and full!

August Sponsor Love

Giving a great big shout out to those that support this little artsy-farsty nook in the Blogosphere!


Love Me Knott - Bilton Creations is a gemstone, glass beads and customized jewelry shop on Etsy, run by Amanda Knott. Her creations are absolutely fantastic, whimsical, fun...with a little bit of boho every now and then! She also creates fun children's jewelry, keychains, bracelets and anklets!



Banners on the Cheap is a great resource for all of your banner needs, and as this posts right now I am using mine for the very first time at Art in the Park! Their high quality vinyl banners are amazing and come with brass grommets in the corners to make hanging from your tent, table or wall a breeze! From order to delivery, every part of the process is easy as pie! And the banners aren't just for businesses...get them for parties, birthday's, schools and weddings too!!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Mary Kay



One of the products that Michele, my lovely Mary Kay sponsor for BlogHer12, provided me with was a full line of the Time Wise skin care. I had used these products back in 2008 when I got married {as Michele did my makeup for the big day} and have found that my skin has really changed since then, very likely due to having a baby.


 For my trip to NYC, Michele provided me with the TimeWise Trial Miracle Set {bonus that they are all airplace complaint and travel size!}. This wonderful little set features enough product to get you through 30 days of daily use:


  • TimeWise® 3-in-1 Cleanser (normal- to-dry), 57 g
  • TimeWise® Age-Fighting Moisturizer (normal-to-dry), 21 g
  • TimeWise® Day Solution Sunscreen SPF 35, 11 g
  • TimeWise® Night Solution, 11 g
My favourite product in the entire set is the Night Solution.



After a night of galavanting and dancing, typically coming back to our hotel room at around midnight, it felt so nice to take off my makeup, wash my face with something mild and gentle, then put on the Night Solution.

In the morning, I would wake up and my skin felt...smooth. It was as if the Nutribeads worked magic while I slept and tiny little pixies danced on my skin; leaving it feeling soft and leaving me looking refreshed in the morning.

For a mama to a toddler {eek, now a preschooler!} who does her best work at night after he's gone to bed, knowing that I'll be able to put the Night Solution on and that I'll wake up and not look insanely tired is amazing. If there's one thing to put into your skin care regimen, it's the Night Solution!

BlogHer Sponsors: Thank You!

From the bottom of my heart, I want to send out a huge thank you to all of the amazing sponsors who helped me board a plane today, put gorgeous media cards together for me, provided inspiration and photography, designed incredible outfits, jewelry and tutu's....

Without you all, BlogHer'12 would be but a dream for me. You helped make this possible!







Getting Guest Ready with Kleenex Hand Towels

Have guests coming?

I have had a constant flow of guests over the last month between my son's brithday party, hosting my mom's wedding luncheon and now straight onto my bff's baby shower next month!

How do I get ready?

I get crafty!

This is an easy peasy, step-by-step craft that literally everyone can do (and better yet, the kiddos can help with!)

 Step 1: gather your materials
- wire coat hanger
- embellishments (or leave plain and make it even easier on yourself!)

Step 2: bend hanger into a rectangle


 Step 3: bend hanger to create a shelf

Step 4: embellish!! I chose to get shabby-chic with my bad self and whip up a little burlap bow to glue onto the front, off centred

 Step 5: fill it with Kleenex Hand Towels, books, magazines and more!

 
Just a simple little touch to make your guests smile!

Join the 14 million people who have already joined the Clean Hands campaign by using Kleenex Hand Towels, and click here for savings and more!

I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Atutudes Handmade Tutus


Add a touch of shimmer and shine to your summer whites and blues with the new {and oh so fabulous} handmade floral rosette bib necklaces by Atutudes!

Ms. Kristal has been busily dreaming up gorgeous combinations of shimmery material, handling the edges and curves with precision to create beautiful works of art to adorn your neck and spruce up your every day.


Add a little sparkle to the centre, and the necklaces go from day to night in a snap! Pair it with a little black dress and BAM!

These beauties would be perfect for a little party I know going on...called Sparklecorn. Have you heard of it? Have you planned your outfit? Do you know what bling you're wearing? Look no further!


BlogHer Sponsor Love: Kristine Cook Designs



Details,details...it's all in the details!

Kristine Cook has done it again in her design for my brunch dress for BlogHer'12!

When we first met, we talked about my love of neutrals, stripes and a pop of colour. She captured my style so absolutely perfectly in this dress.


Slate grey, paired with a white and grey stripe that is so delicately draped from one shoulder down to the opposite hip and falling ever so femininely down the skirt. The detailing on this dress is simply divine!

For the pop of color, Kristine chose to bring in the same coral of my tailored jacket by putting a sash at my {rather high} natural waist and up on the shoulder in an abstract draped manner. It reflects who I am as an artist, all in one beautiful dress!


Now I need to find the perfect shoes!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Tina Dean Designs




I am so pleased to be the first to blog about a new product hitting the shelves at Tina Dean Designs!

Tina is hitting the nail on the head with these designs. She combines colour blocking with an eco-chic fold over clutch design, and is even dabbling in adding texture, stripes and vintage fabric!


I'm so excited with this direction that Tina is taking her work, and have been privy to some new colours and designs including ruffles, bows, dripped texture. Truly unique and artistic, yet functional all at the same time!

The eco-fused line is the perfect compliment to your snazzy dress for a girls night out, date with that special someone or even with a lovely summer dress for a brunch with the girls!

Sponsor Love: Organo Gold Gourmet Coffee


Over the past couple of months, you’ve had the chance to sit and sip along with me and Organo Gold Gourmet Coffee…experiencing the amazing health benefits of gourmet coffee infused with 100% Organic Ganoderma.

Are you a stay-at-home-mama? Not want to go back to work after your baby is born?

Take a look at the greener grass on the other side and become an Organo Gold Gourmet Coffee Rep!

The benefits are crazy amazing of this incredibly healthy productive – it literally sells itself so if you’re looking for something that is easy peasy, and you don’t have to be a born salesperson to sell and make a profitable business from, Organo Gold Gourmet Coffee is your company!

The Benefits:

  • · Earnings up to $11, 000 per month
  • · 7 ways to earn money through the company
  • · Make your own hours…make it work for you!

Interested?

For more information, contact Amanda Braun at amanda_braun1@yahoo.ca

Sponsor Love: Love Me Knott



Sometimes that perfect summer dress needs a pop…a pop of purple 

Amanda from Love Me Knott has created the perfect purple dragon vein agate piece that will surely get you noticed at your next big event.



Chic and feminine, the purple is a lovely shade…almost muted with a grey undertone, and perfectly paired with white stones and intricate silver work.

The eye-catching pendant features a gorgeous veining, named the Dragon Vein, and picks up on the various undertones in the piece. Oranges….grey…a slight olive tone. It really is the perfect piece for any wardrobe. 

Dress it down with a white t-shirt and jeans, or make a statement with a black cocktail dress and big sparkly heels!

Sponsor Love: Organo Gold Gourmet Coffee



One thing I learned a few years ago when we were trying to get pregnant, were the healthy benefits of Green Tea. I was constantly looking for ways to help my not-so-cooperative system get a boost, be healthy and become centred.

Did you know that green tea, aside from having benefits of the cardiovascular and cognition type, can help with fertility and put some really amazing antioxidants into your temple? It contains a powerful antioxidant that can help rid your body of toxins, thereby creating a healthier environment for a baby to be conceived.

Now…couple the traditional properties of green tea with that of Organo Gold Green Tea, infused with 100% organic Ganoderma and you have one powerhouse of a drink that can help your body become a temple…a healthy environment for love to grow!

With an exceptionally soothing flavour, this green tea is sure to calm you on your most hectic days…aiding in stress relief and allowing you those few precious me-moments throughout your day!

Healthy alternatives are important in our day in age where swinging by the drive-thru is such an easy option. If you start your day out healthy, with Organo Gold Green Tea, your chances of retaining a healthy day definitely improve. Throw in some good fats {almonds} and a banana…and you’ve got a breakfast of champions {and healthy mama’s!}

Don’t forget that your body is a temple…put in the good stuff so you can get out the good stuff. A happier, healthier you!

BlogHer Sponsor Love...Mama's Time Out with Michele & Mary Kay



We've all been there and done that...gotten to a stalemate with our current makeup and skin care.

Well! My BlogHer'12 fresh face sponsor, Michele from Mary Kay, has taught me and my mama-friends a thing or two about new products, skincare and how to treat your skin right so you really can put your best and freshest face forward.



I will be the first to admit that I had never really thought about using SPF on my lips. I'm a lipgloss kind of girl most definitely, so knowing that there is a product out there that will protect my pucker, is waterproof and I can wear under my lip gloss...pretty awesome!


BlogHer Sponsor Love: Atutudes


Have a little girl? Does she love to play dress up, or maybe have a special birthday party coming up? Well you can thank your lucky stars for coming across the blog today!

Kristal Lee of Atutudes Handmade Tutu's creates simply the most gorgeous and well made tutu's around. One of her personal favourites is the Pink Poodle Skirt tutu!


Layers and layers of bubblegum pink tulle, embellished with the cutest white poodle around! Your little one will be sock-hoppin' in no time!

This tutu was actually featured in the 2012 Golden Globes Press Bags! Pretty amazing stuff that celebrity publications have taken these gorgeous one-of-a-kind designs home, and now you can too!

Kristal loves to create whimsical tutu designs....and she's even branching out to create adult tutu's! I'm so excited to have one being created for me to wear at Sparklecorn and can't wait to reveal it to you guys next month!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Bellaroma Boutique

It's beach season and that means your tender tootsies get to {finally} see the sun...sand...and surf!

I've been using this product by Bellaroma for a little while now, and all I can say is that it is truly amazing. After the first application, my feet felt so incredibly soft and smooth...after a week they were completely beach and sandal ready!

The Peppermint and Fresh Cream Pedi is a thick and luxurious lotion that has a delightful scent of peppermint with a hint of vanilla. It is completely non greasy, and the peppermint provides nice cooling relief to tired toes.

I put it on before bed, and when I woke up in the morning, my feet were touchably soft. As a girl who hates to wear socks with her ballet flats {even in the Canadian winter}, my heels get rather rough and the pads of my feet are just peeling. Not a great feeling, but after one treatment with the Peppermint and Fresh Cream Pedi lotion...amazing!

BlogHer'12 is just TWO MONTHS AWAY! Make sure your toes are ready to go, and can brave the NYC heat...don't forget to pack your Peppermint and Fresh Cream Pedi lotion!

Sponsor Love: Organo Gold Gourmet Coffee



As a busy mom to a busy toddler…and a growing business…I find myself stretched incredibly thin. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning, after grabbing my blackberry and checking in with the living, is think coffffeeeee! Often time, I wonder why I don’t have a cup ready beside the bed…so I can relish those precious few moments before the chaos of being a WAHM begins.

Alas…no bedside coffee, however there is Organo Gold Gourmet Coffee that will make waking up every morning all the sweeter!

Choose from the many gourmet blends to suit your taste…Royal Brewed, King of Coffee, or just regular Black Coffee. No matter what your choice, they’re all infused with 100% Organic Ganoderma – a mushroom that is found in ancient Asian medicines over the past one thousand years. It has proven immune boosters, antioxidants, and anticancer properties as well. Really really amazing stuff…packed into your morning cuppa jo!

I think my favourite would have to be the Royal Blend.

Beans from Jamaica Blue Mountain, known for its smooth and rich…sinfully delicious coffee…infused with the Ganoderma. Amazing concept, and even better execution by Organo Gold.

What’s your favourite cuppa jo? Could it use a kick in the pants from the little mushroom that could? Feel even better throughout the day after your morning coffee from Organo Gold!

Sponsor Love: Love Me Knott




A white tank…paired with your favourite pair of denim Bermudas and a pair of gladiator sandals. What are you missing?

A beautiful, colourful, cheery accessory!


Amanda Knott is the mompreneur behind the Etsy shop Love Me Knott, and she’s she creator of this boho-beach-chic collection, with a concentration in gemstone and glass beaded jewelry. 

Tiger’s Eye, Mother of Pearl, raw Turquoise, Jasper and Agate…a few of the spectacular tones and gems that you’ll find at Love Me Knott

Looking for something custom to finish off your spring and summer wardrobe? Contact Amanda today!  

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Kristine Cook Designs...Structured Jacket


I've been trying to write this post for about a week...and I'm not quite sure than any words that I can spill out into a blogpost will accurately describe just how in love I am with this beautiful coral jacket that Kristine has designed for me.

From the pleated pockets to the beautiful button closure....the polka dotted lining to the abstract ruffles down the side
Stunning colour!

She just got me when she was designing this jacket. It's so incredibly detailed, and on trend, and artistic.

Not to mention well made. The entire jacket is lined with the beautiful polka dots {love!}, with the pleat and structured sides. I have never owned a jacket so beautiful, and likely never will again. It's quickly become a favourite in my wardrobe.


How perfect is that!!


I love that I can take it from day to night, and I fully plan on it at BlogHer. During the day, paired with dark skinny jeans, a white tank that hits just below the jacket, and gold gladiator sandals (or black peep toe ballet flats with a ruffle on the top) and some awesome designs from Amber Bryce. During the evening, paired with a pencil skirt and pulling my hair up. Easy peasy, but oh so awesome!

Sneak peek at my new hair!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Hanlon Lain Photography...getting messy!


Last month, I had the great pleasure of working with my BlogHer sponsor Hanlon Lain Photography  on a fantastic photo shoot. 

I had a vision of me in one of her fields with my canvases, paint and easel…just being me and being inspired by the space around me. 



The messier part of the vision was that I would end up covered in paint….head to toe {not hair to toe…} in paint. My feet were an absolute mess by the end of the shoot since I was literally standing in the drippings off the paintings and my easel, and my hands were blue by the time everything dried and I got home {and I still had to go to the grocery store!}



I would never in a million years have thought to capture what Laina did. Her use of angles, the way she captures the light that no one else can see, and the way she caught my expression was incredible. I was able to just paint, do my thing and have her capture who I am as a true artist.

The entire experience was amazing. It made this whole artist thing seem...real. Like this is what I was meant to do and who I was meant to be. What an amazing feeling!

I am absolutely thrilled to feature one of her photos on the bio-side of my media cards that will be passed out at BlogHer this year!