Poison In Beauty Products


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Did you know that National Poison Prevention Week is March 20-26th?
Until I started chatting with Heather Von St. James, I didn’t know either. And I certainly didn’t know the extent to which I should know about it.


This week was created around the idea that sometimes despite our diligence, toxins can still be present around us without even realizing it (especially makeup, skincare products and other household goods).


Heather’s daughter was just three and a half months old when she was diagnosed.


Did you know that Asbestos and other environmental toxins can cause a rare, aggressive cancer called Mesothelioma? I didn’t know that either. Heather opened my eyes to a lot of facts that make me feel a little ignorant for not knowing earlier. But I’m grateful I know now because I’m a little more cautious. Because of Heather, I’m a little more weary. Click here for more information on Mesothelioma cancer.


Although individuals may be at highest risk to develop mesothelioma if they’re exposed to asbestos in the workplace or at home, it can happen to anyone, anywhere. Anyone that wears sunscreen. Anyone that drinks bottled water. Anyone that wears clothes or uses detergent.


Anyone that breaths.


Sound scary? It is.


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Heather has taught me that these lethal, environmental toxins are still widely present in homes, schools and spaces built prior to 1980. Click here to see all the ways to avoid Asbestos and prevent this awful disease.


And click here to read Heather’s story. It is beyond eye opening and inspiring.


And take a peak at this infographic, below. It’s not focused on Asbestos, but it shows you just how dangerous certain products can be.


Be picky about what you put on your skin, but also be picky about what you breath in. Look at your makeup and check your bathroom products for the following ingredients. I should have been doing it long ago, but at least I can start now.







To say thank you to all my readers and subscribers, I’m partnering with Tania of ‘Cze by Tania’ and doing a one day flash giveaway.

As I’ve posted before here, Tania has an amazing line of natural and organic hot oil hair masques (and now beard oils for him) and you need to try them. Why? They add and restore moisture to the hair, they prevent and heal split ends, they prevent hair breakage (hello hair growth), and they aid in overall hair health. And now, her new lavender scented masque just may help you sleep better.

All of her products are also handcrafted in Winnipeg and made with all natural ingredients: coconut oil, castor oil, almond oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, Vitamins A, B1, B2, D, E and essential oils. And I am addicted.

What’s in the set of three I’m giving away, you ask?

  • The lavender Hot Oil Hair Masque
  • The bergamot + lime Hot Oil Hair Masque
  • The brand new men’s Beard Oil in the True North scent (who doesn’t want their man smelling like he’s just chopped trees in the woods on a spring day while being hit with a light rain?) <—This beard oil is also super awesome as a moisturizer, prevents hair from becoming brittle, prevents flaking and dandruff and it acts as a grooming tool for beards and moustaches!)

You have until tomorrow, Wednesday, March 23rd afternoon to win this lovely set and ALL you have to do is like or comment on this post. Don’t have a WordPress account? Then just like or comment on my Hair by Tania Flash Giveaway Facebook post — it’s that simple:)

Good luck!

P.s. you can see more of Cze By Tania on Instagram: @czebytania, or call/text her at (204)880-9502 to place an order.




The Easiest, Healthiest Breakfast Ever: Overnight Oats

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It’s easy to skip breakfast. Mornings are rushed as they are, so throwing a meal preparation into the ring can seem next to impossible.

I’m a habitual planner and routine-oriented by nature, but for breakfast I usually just grab a banana and a bran muffin and out I go. Zzzz. Yes, that duo gets old fast, but it’s hella convenient, super healthy and I’d rather not starve.

But sometimes I make Overnight Oats. It’s even healthier, and if you make it in a little Tupperware container, it’s just as convenient to grab and go. (Just don’t forget a spoon.)

What’s the difference between regular oatmeal and Overnight Oats, you ask? Well nothing. Aside from the fact it’s been soaking in all of its deliciousness for hours. (Think: crock pot of breakfasts.)

I’ve seen a few different recipes for this concoction (what inspired me to get back to making the pre-made goodness is this one), so by all means, try your own spin — there’s really no right or wrong. Sub the honey or agave nectar for maple syrup or stevia if you like, and depending on the season, switch up the fruits. In my version I used blueberries and a chopped kiwi and strawberry. Sometimes I also throw in chia seeds and hemp hearts for additional vitamins and fibre. Oh and almond butter/peanut butter is never a bad thing. On/in anything. Ever.🙂

Oats are so great for breakfast for a bunch of reasons, but the reason this breakfast is so great is because of how balanced it is. Aside from all of the heart-friendly vitamins and nutrients, you’re getting good fats, good carbohydrates and a dose of protein. Not only are you going to stay fuller longer, but I’ll bet you crave less crap later on in the day. Seriously, beach season is about three months away (!) — the perfect amount of time to start making some effective tweaks in your lifestyle. I’m sure that’s extra incentive for you to start eating healthier breakfasts like this one, which, conveniently enough, couldn’t be more simple.

And it’s not just about looks. The list of reasons oats are such an awesome breakfast are almost never-ending. But because the average human attention span is said to be as short as 8 seconds, here’s a few great ones from my favourite Winnipeg nutrition blogger, Carrotsandcake.ca:


  • They’re whole grain — Health Canada recommends that 50% of your grains should be whole grain; we know people who eat whole grains have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and digestive disorders.

  • They’re rich in soluble fibre — this type of fibre helps improve blood cholesterol and can also help manage blood sugar levels

  • They’re high protein — A half cup serving (dry, large flake oats) offers up nearly 8 grams of protein.

  • They’re a great source of B vitamins, iron and vitamin E.


So, place the following ingredients in your bowl (or handy ‘ole Tupperwear)


In addition to the above list, you’ll also want to add these:

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp flax seed/chia seeds/hemp hearts


Then…overnightoatsdirections2.jpgVoila! Enjoy🙂

Top 10 Instagram Accounts To Follow

So I love Instagram. It’s pretty, it’s visual and it’s inspiring.

I’m constantly in awe of the accounts that litter my newsfeed and I often pull ideas from them to incorporate into my own. A really great thing about Instagram, and really all social media, is that you can use it to create your own personal brand. If used effectively, your Instagram account can serve as an expression of your style, a reflection of your personality and especially if your account isn’t private, it’s often a first impression.

The other day a friend of mine asked me what my favourite accounts to follow were and when I answered her, it occurred to me my favourite ones are not only interesting, but they’re beautiful. Since I’m interested in hair (particularly braids, if you haven’t noticed), fashion, home decor, photography and graphic design, the accounts that stand out to me are usually related and curated with other like-minded brands/accounts. They also tend to be splashed with soft, pastel colours with lots of white space, or at least adhere to some sort of cohesive style. And cute, quick-witted quotes, those are cute too. Oh, and witty memes. And taco jokes. Those get me double tapping quick.

If I’ve learned anything school, it’s that not only is the type of content you post important, but it’s how you post it that’s important.

It was a tough call to whittle down to, but the following 10 accounts are ones that have their Insta-game on point. Follow and like.


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Mermaid Hair By Gerald Pankiw

mermaidhair2.jpgLately I’ve been talking a lot about hair — long hair. And maybe that’s because I sense spring in the air, which gets me thinking about summer, which gets me thinking about long, mermaid hair. Or maybe it’s because despite there being cute long bobs everywhere I look, I just can’t cut it. Maybe I’m set in my ways, or I’m just that good with commitment, but I’m still loyal to my lifelong goal of Rapunzel/mermaid hair. Thanks to my fabulously talented friend and hair stylist, Gerald, we have a game plan to hit this goal and after two years in the making, it’s coming — it’s nearly to my waist and it’s happening. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce the legendary, the fabulous and the hilarious Gerald Pankiw of the Loft Salon Spa and Bar.

P.s. you won’t regret reading this.


“Why the hell won’t my hair grow!?!”
“The front of my hair is at a stand-still!!!”
“Don’t come near my hair with those scissors!! I’m trying to grow it.”

We stylists at The LOFT Salon•Spa•Bar hear this every day from clients desperate to grow their hair. So, I’m here to tell all you sexy bitches how to get that crazy-long mermaid hair that covers your nips. Because, let’s be honest, that’s why you’re reading this article. So here they are:

1) Extend your Blow Out!
Most of us were raised to wash our hair daily but the times are changing — tell the world! If you take the time and properly blow out your hair with the correct products and don’t just half-ass blow dry it, your blow dry will not only look pro, but it will last longer. Use a root pump and a blow out cream (I recommend Nectar Thermique  Blow Dry Cream by Kérastase and Root Lift by Living Proof) for that perfect Day One pro blow out.

Now, I don’t care if you go to the gym or sweat it out in hot yoga because you can dry shampoo that mane and get at least another day out of your blow out. Invest in a good dry shampoo. Living Proof Dry Shampoo is my personal fave. We can’t even keep it on the shelves. So, get up in the morning, shower with a shower cap on and then assess your hair. Dry shampoo it if it’s oily (ask your stylist for a demo) and re-flat iron or curl you hair, where needed. Put some oil on the ends if they feel dry (Kérastase Elixir Ultime is our salon go-to), and voila! You have Day Two hair without putting your hair through the full routine. If you’re not getting all hot and sweaty (I don’t want to know what you’re doing to get so sweaty! Just joking, I do want to know), you should even be able to extend it for another day. Some people even get a fourth, depending on hair type.

So, even when you invest in an expensive shampoo you MUST learn to extend your blow outs and wash as little as possible! This tip should be number one on your things to do if you want long hair. Why? Because every time you wash your hair, you brush it and heat style it, increasing the wear and tear on your precious ends. Mermaids live in water, you don’t. You need to stop drying out those locks.

2) Dust those nasty ends
Remember that nipple-covering length we talked about? If you want to get there, you need to keep those ends from splitting. The longer you let your hair grow without trimming, the longer and nastier those ends will get. Most women who complain their hair won’t grow are usually girls with finer more fragile hair. If you have your stylist dust your ends every four weeks, you will see your hair growing stronger and faster. This works!! I have put it to the test, time and again. Be aware that you must just have your hair DUSTED, not cut. My definition of dusting is that you don’t see hair on the floor. You’re literally just getting the tiny little ends dusted off so your hair won’t split. You need trust in your stylist for this though and that person needs to clear on what dusting means.

3) Have the right tools
Chuck that 2002 flat iron in the bin and invest in something new. The plates are nasty and the coating is worn off. You’re just heating your hair on metal at this point and you might as well be straightening it on the ironing board like your mom did in the 70s. So go grab yourself a new iron. I can go on forever about the different technology in irons but I’ll save that for another blog. Update your blow dryer too. If you want long hair, then believe me, invest in higher quality tools for your hair. You’ll see huge results.

4) Treat it right
Have your stylist prescribe the proper shampoo and conditioner for your hair type. Nine times out of ten you’re going to need a conditioning product with protein. This helps to restore and rebuild the strength of your hair, especially the ends. Remember though, only wash your hair when absolutely necessary. My favourite is the Ciment Anti-Usure from Kérastase.

Treatments are highly potent systems that will give your hair the boost it needs. We recommend monthly Kérastase Fusio-dose treatments for any hair type. When in a rush to grow your hair, you may need to do a come every three weeks, depending on your hair type. Grabbing a take home treatment can also help.

Heat protecting blow dry creams are essential for protecting hair from heat damage. Ciment Thermique from Kérastase is my ultimate fave.

5) Don’t over-colour
Make sure your stylist isn’t over-colouring your hair or overlapping your highlights. If your colour isn’t applied properly this can damage your hair, causing your grow-out to come to a grinding halt due to chemical breakage.

Follow my advice and you will have hair longer than Ariel and all her sisters, minus all the gross barnacles. Trust me.

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Long Hair Because I Care

CZEbytaniablogI can’t believe it’s been six week since I first tried my Cze by Tania hot oil hair mask. And not just because the time has whizzed by (because it has), but because it’s insane that the strength and softness my hair has is the result of a six-week process.

Oh, and I’m not stopping either. This “challenge” was more of a treat than anything. I now completely understand why Tania mentioned that one of her clients considers it a waste of a hair wash without first using the treatment.

My hair not only looks and feels dramatically softer, but it looks longer! I kid you not, my hair is still growing, not breaking all the time like it used to — this is Rapunzel cream.

I took about a tablespoon of the oil — sometimes I mic’d it, sometimes I didn’t — and massaged it into my scalp and brushed it through so each strand had the good stuff. I slathered it throughout my mane once or twice a week before bed and washed it out in the a.m. I also made sure to wrap my pillow in a towel to make sure I wasn’t getting any of the oil on my bedding. Minor sacrifices. 

And okay, it’s not just the Czy by Tania that I attribute the extra sprouting from, but it has been a noticeable helping hand over the past few weeks.

As I’ve continuously mentioned, my hair has grown tremendously over the past two years and it’s because of the 180 I did with my ‘hair hygiene’. I stopped colouring it (I’m now known for my once a year salon visits, oops!), I stopped excessively straightening it, and I stopped blowdrying it. A lot of the time I sleep on wet hair and wake up and weave a lose braid into my messy mop. And along with these equally-important tactics, I still adhere to my twice a week hair wash rule. Dry shampoo, baby! It’s like health and fitness, it’s a lifestyle change, one I’ve stayed true to to the past two years. Goodbye Pamela locks — see ya never!

Tania’s magic concoction of specialty oils is definitely worth getting your hands on. She’s even expanding her line to suit the needs of men, and roumer has it she’s concocting a special overnight lavender scented hair mask with sleep aid properties! Does she know her audience or what?

Follow her on Instagram: @czebytania, and order your own jar at czebytania@gmail.com to start sprouting your own Rapunzel locks. Trust me, you’ll be telling everyone you know about it too!







The Best Spray Tan in Town

Lately I’ve been feeling a little ‘blah’. And I really hate to admit it because it probably sounds bad (?), but it might be correlated to the fact that I’m feeling like I look a little ‘blah’. I don’t know, it’s like if you go to a party and you hate your outfit — sure, you’ll still have fun, but it’s just so much better if you don’t. Amiright?

I’ve always considered myself a summer girl, and feel the happiest when the sun’s shining  and the temperature’s hot. Although I do take my vitamin D supplements and try to work next to a window as much as possible, there’s just no denying that living where temperatures dip down colder than Mars can also dip you mood.

It’s true. You can only plug away at the computer desk under florescent lights for so long before you start to feel as dull as the worn out eraser sitting next to you. For me anyways. I need summer, or something that at least reminds me of it.

So yesterday, I looked down at my fingers as they danced across my keyboard. My knuckles a little chapped, my cuticles a little ragged. My hands, they looked like winter. Give me summer, I could almost hear the pasty things yell. So I had an idea — I knew what would boost my mood. I called Fabutan for a Mystic Tan. 

I used to go for a Mystic a couple times per month, but since I’ve been back at school I haven’t even though about it. I used to love that little extra glow. And without any sort of UV rays, I figured why not?



So i stepped in to the studio and in just a few hours, I already noticed a glow. And although I was still plunked down in front of my computer screen in the middle of a Manitoban winter, it was just what the doctor ordered.



How does it work?

Fabutan’s patented Spray Tan process features MagneTan application technology to use the human body’s own magnetic properties to attract Tanning Myst™ to every exposed surface of the skin. When the mist passes through the patented spray nozzle, the micro-particles adhere evenly, and in a precise uniform amount to the exposed skin to create a smooth, even and natural-looking tan.




What I love most about Mystic Tans are their natural look. Nobody wants to look like they stepped off a yacht in the middle of winter, and they also don’t want to look like they bathed in self-tanner. But they also don’t want to look like Casper or one of his distant relatives — there’s a fine line.

Although there’s three shades to choose from, I find I always get the best results from the ‘medium’ shade. And since you slather your hands and feet with a protecting cream, theres never any streaks (note: this is a lot to expect out of a self-tanner). This is also partially due to the ‘enhancer’ add-on that I always get. It helps to keep the tan lasting longer and reduces the possibility of streaks.

You can also add a scent to your Mystic since there’s always going to bit a little bit of that unpleasant DHA scent that comes with any artificial tan. I, personally, forgo this extra add-on because I shower the next day anyways (remember to pat dry to keep discolouration at bay). But, if you were to head out on the town immediately after your tan, you could always go for a subtle coconut-lime scent to eliminate any trace of that odour.

Click here for pricing and any other details if you’re interested — it’s the best mid-winter treat to distract you from winter’s pasty blues.

xo T


It’s a fact that getting ready takes time.

And when it’s before a night out on the town or for anything that takes a little longer than usual, it shouldn’t be a chore. So pour yourself a glass of wine and hook up your blue tooth.

But beware: these chill indie/rock songs might make straightening and contouring more enjoyable than your actual night out.

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P.s. if you’ve never heard of them, , pronounced alt-J, are an English indie rock band formed in 2007 in Leeds, by Gwil Sainsbury (guitar/bass), Joe Newman (guitar/lead vocals), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards/vocals) and Thom Green (drums). Their 2014 album, This is All Yours, is my latest obsession. Get it. Now.

Top 10 Songs to Get Ready to that You’ve Never Heard