experience: a men’s spa day

Okay damn, I went to my first day spa. Basically, I switched jobs recently and had two weeks off in between. I took one week for myself and just chilled. During this week, I booked a half day trip to the spa. First place I called couldn’t take me because one of their staff doesn’t practice on guys do to religion and the other staff member had a broken rib – or so I’m told. But, as you know the spa world is pretty competitive. I easily picked up the phone, called another spa in the area I had heard great things about and booked in.

So what did I get? I registered for reflexology, a mens’ facial and an aroma-massage. First service to be done was the reflexology. The lady at the spa had me soak my feet and then started to apply pressure to areas on my feet. Honestly, it was a lot like a foot massage. However, reflexology is a relaxing way to alleviate stress. The pressure applied to various areas corresponds to different organs and systems in the body.

Next up was the facial. The mens’ anti-fatigue, aromatic facial treatment clears skin complexion and promotes robust tone radiance. Of course, my eyes were closed so I really couldn’t be sure exactly what was going on. The lady applied at least 4 or 5 different products to cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturize my skin. I left with my face glowing!

The final service was the aroma-massage. They use a de-stressing solution with essential oils including lavender and verbena. These oils will work the tension out of your body! The massage was head to toe starting at the scalp. You will rediscover wellness and relaxation. Ideal for those with a busy mind and a lot on the go to step away for a bit!

make life easier!

Over the last few weeks I have done a couple things that have made life easier. I work full days and commute about an hour and a half each way – that’s three hours of my day spent on the train or on the highway in my car. The result is an unbalanced work/life mix. Sure I love what I do, it’s fun and I get to do some great things but it’s not always easy. Now that I have made a few changes, I am confident I have set myself for success by making life a little bit easier.

Here are some ideas for you! Of course, some of these may not apply depending on your living situation. Some are a bit much and might not be in the budget but hopefully one or two of these will be relevant to you.

1. Start a meal service (or make meals ahead and freeze them!)
I recently took the plunge with this one. After working with HelloFresh Canada, I was in love with the idea and convenience in a meal service. HelloFresh is a great, quality service but I wanted something even easier. No, I’m not lazy.. I just knew it would be jnice to have meals already prepared. The amount of time I save cooking and cleaning has been nice!

2. Use a property manager
I haven’t gone to the extent to hire someone to manage my property… yet. However, the idea of having someone cut my lawn and care for my gardens is very appealing. I love having a backyard and gardens but it’s not something I want to do after a long day at work. My weekends are often busy with running errands and being social so if I can’t make it work then my lawn doesn’t get the attention it should have. Imagine not having to worry about snow removal either? A boy can dream.

3. Find a dog walker
Using a dog walker is great for you and for your dog! Not only does this prevent me from feeling guilty when I leave my dog for an extended period of time but it also helps your dog get exercise and socialize. The hard part for me was opening my house to someone that I don’t know but then again, that’s why I have home security cameras.

4. Plan your outfits for the week
I’ve done this one on and off for years! It’s so much easier than trying on clothes and deciding on an outfit in the morning. Save time getting dressed and spend more time sleeping in!

5. Make a happy box
Honestly, this isn’t something I have done but it is something I kind of want to do! Come up with a few items you can put into a box that will make you happy. If I built one, I think I would include a “done list.” A done list is a list of amazing things I have done, this could be personal stuff, professional stuff or anything that I would be proud to say I’ve completed. Similar, another list would be a gratitude list. A gratitude list should include things you are thankful for. Think about your health, your income, family, relationships, etc. Other things could be photos of your pet, loved ones or a drawing from your kid. Be creative and think what makes you happy.

6. Meditate
Most of us are often too busy to stop and clear our minds! Meditation can actually help you create more time by making your mind calmer and more focused. I recently started meditating with the help of the app “Breathe” which was recommended to me. Meditation will help reduce stress, increase clarity and promote happiness.

7. Hire an assistant
As an assistant, I often think how amazing having an assistant would be. Especially one like me that will do anything. When you think of someone who has an assistant you likely think of an executive or an A-list celebrity. Why can’t you have one? Have you ever considered a business, personal or virtual assistant? Virtual assistants can assist with social media management, research, project management and much more. By delegating some of your “to do” list – you can make life much easier!

Hopefully, you found this post to be informative and took something away from it. With the busiest time of year coming up for many of us, I thought this would be a great post! If you have any questions about any of the ideas above – send me an email or connect with me on social media!

Invisalign Update: Tray 21/30

It’s been a while since I wrote a post about my Invisalign update. It’s pretty crazy to think how quickly time passes. I am already on tray 21/30. That means I have another 18 weeks to go until I am done thirty trays, it’ll be over sixty weeks! Based on what I have heard and read about Invisalign, it’s not uncommon to have to do a couple more weeks after the first set. The next set is known as the refinement period. I’m thinking I’ll have to do another few weeks but only time will tell, my dentist hasn’t said anything about that yet.

Oddly enough, the posts about my Invisalign journey are the most read and bring the most traffic to the blog. This is likely because of how many people are looking for insight and reviews before committing to the treatment plan. After all, it’s not cheap and can be a bit intimidating. However, I am already super happy with the results. My teeth look great and I am looking forward to seeing the final result. The worst part of Invisalign actually has it’s benefits… that would be the hygiene part. It is certainly a nuisance having to clean my trays and teeth after I eat anything. The plus is that I brush, floss and rinse my mouth more frequently. Not to mention, I am snacking less because of the work involved in taking the trays out and cleaning them. Truth be told, sometimes it’s not always easy to do a full clean and sometimes it’s just awkward popping your trays in and out. I’ve had to improvise and honestly, I take my trays out in public with no shame. Some tricks for on the fly cleaning include using the mini, disposable toothbrushes that don’t require any water. When times are rough, I just do a good rinse with water and try my best to clean up my trays!

Since I am close (but not really close) to finishing, I can’t wait to hear about a retention plan so that I can keep these teeth aligned and looking their best. Despite my dental hygenist telling me I have very white teeth last weekend, I will definitely be looking into whitening trays once I complete all my trays! I have had a company reach out to partner with boywhoblogs.com for promotion of their teeth whitening service but unfortunately, it just doesn’t make sense for me to get custom whitening trays right now because my teeth are constantly moving around.

Anyways, I hope this helps! If you have any questions about Invisalign you can always send me a DM on Instagram, shoot me an email or leave a comment on this post!

experience a psychic/medium reading

My aunt had planned to have a psychic/medium come to her place for a “psychic party.” Everyone who came for a reading waited on the main level of the floor, we were snacking away at delicious treats and others were discussing their past experiences with having a reading done. Some were sharing stories from what they had heard from the psychic/medium that day. This was my first time having a psychic/medium reading done so I was definitely super interested, slightly terrified but without a doubt – excited for mine!

I had to wait for two others to have their readings done before my own. Each was an hour long.  When it was my turn, I went upstairs into the spare bedroom and sat down. The lady who was doing the reading was sitting at a card table with a few different decks of cards in front of her. When I came in she was on her flip phone, texting a friend and made a joke about how she wasn’t tech savvy at all and that her flip phone proved just that. I laughed and waited for her to finish off composing the text message. She informed me that I was in full control of my reading, she told me that I can change the direction and what not if I need to. I was super comfortable. A legal size pad of paper was in front of me. The lady then asked me to write my full name down, I wrote my first name and then my last name. The lady looked down at the paper and said a male was present – my dad’s dad. My grandpa wasn’t happy with how I didn’t include my middle names.

Now, I’m not going to publish details of my reading online but damn… this lady hit the nail on the head! The information I received was pretty much all career and work related. The lady was able to pick up on way too much – in a good way. I was very reserved because I didn’t want to give out too much information. I found myself saying “interesting” probably more than 40 times in order to stay neutral. Honestly, almost cried like three times. It’s amazing how someone can pin point exactly what you are feeling and knows exactly what to say to relate. This lady probably knew more about me than I know about myself! Ironically enough, I have another reading later this month with another lady. It’ll be interesting to see how the two experiences compare.

product review: Dr. Scholl’s foot care

The worst is when you have a pair of shoes that you enjoy wearing but they aren’t the most comfortable pair you own. For a few years now I have been buying some basic, cheap canvas style footwear. Each summer I get a new pair because they are so cheap and I want to wear shoes that aren’t falling apart. Finding a good pair of shoes can be hard. You want something functional, stylish and of course comfortable. After all, we all know how annoying a blister can be.

I was lucky enough to receive four pairs of insoles and a package of blister cushions. I had received two insoles specific for ladies: one for high heels and another designed for pumps and flats. I made two people’s days by giving these away!

It was perfect timing for me to receive this package because ironically, I had just developed a small blister on my heel that day. The first thing I did was use one of the blister cushions immediately. I didn’t even know this product was on the market! They are similar to a band aid but a lot more ideal. First off, they are clear so you can wear them in the summer and not worry about that off the skin tone coloured strip showing and drawing attention to your feet. Secondly, these things stay on! I wore it for two days, including during two showers! When I took the blister cushion off, my blister was gone. There is a slight padding, which is gel-like to a certain degree to provide protection from the rubbing against your sensitive spot.

The insoles I received for men were different. One was designed to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis which is basically inflamed tissue around your heel – common in athletes and those who work on their feet every day. These have a lot of padding on the heel and are molded to offer support to the arch of your foot. The other pair of insoles I received for men are designed to provide relief of back pain. Now, these ones come with a shock guard which absorb some of the impacts that come with walking on concrete and hard floors. Though I don’t suffer from heel pain, I do often get some aches in my lower back. I figured I would put them both to use in my cheap shoes and they’ve definitely made them more enjoyable to wear.

So if you find yourself stuck in a situation where you love some cheap, uncomfortable shoes then don’t hesitate to look into the variety of products that Dr. Scholl’s has made available to us.  Don’t forget the blister cushions they make either – I swear these are game changing.

cooking for one // pear and brie crostini

This is the first time I’m sharing a recipe on here that I didn’t come up with on my own. In fact, I didn’t even make this… my sister made it for us at a family dinner! I wanted to share this recipe anyways because it’s so easy and was pretty darn tasty. I’ll certainly be making this next time I have to come up with an appetizer on the fly. It was so easy, quick and flavourful. Plus, you only need a few ingredients. It makes quite a bit too but you don’t have to make a lot if you don’t want to!

You’ll need a wheel of brie cheese, a french baguette, a pear or two, fresh thyme, a bit of olive oil and balsamic glaze. I would suggest getting the President’s Choice balsamic glaze!

First, preheat the oven to around 400 degrees. Then slice the baguette into thin slices about half an inch thick. Lightly coat these slices with olive oil and then put them into the oven to get crispy – about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up the pears into thin slices just a bit smaller than the baguettes. After, cut the brie into the same size slices as your pears – so they will warm up from the baguette a bit. You’ll want to chop some fresh thyme to garnish and to add that unique flavour. Once the baguettes are crisp, remove them from the oven and get to work. Stack the pear on the baguette and the brie. Then drizzle balsamic glaze evenly over the plate and sprinkle some thyme on top.

And you’re done! This can easily be done in less than 20 minutes. Talk about an easy and different appetizer for Spring, eh?

experience an eye exam

Recently I’ve been catching myself stuck making an unattractive face as I squint to read things at the grocery store, while driving or trying to read anything that is slightly further away. I’m not sure if staring at a computer screen at work or constantly looking at an iPhone screen is to blame – just it sure isn’t helping. Both my mother, father and sister have glasses so it’s not like I didn’t expect the day to come.

I called two places to try and book in an eye exam. I don’t typically like booking appointments far in advance, I’d rather just walk in to be honest. Luckily, one of the places I called said they could fit me in for an appointment that same day. So I was there within five minutes. First step was filling out paper work and then I was asked to come back to do a little pre screening. This included three machines. The first was looking at a small red house far in the distant. The second was a pressure test, they sprayed a little air into each of my eyes, one at a time. The third one was to evaluate my peripheral vision. I had to click a little handheld control each time I saw a squiggly line appear in my peripherals.

After that I waited a bit and then was directed to another room for the eye test. The doctor had me read off a few things across the room and was trying different lenses to determine if they made my vision better or worse. Each change I was asked to read what I could. The doctor then put some eye drops in my eye. These drops dilated my pupils so that he could see into my eyes better. It took about ten to fifteen minutes for my pupils to fully dilate.

In the mean time he had me leave the room and go look at frames until my eyes were dilated. I looked at frames and tried a few different ones on. Took some photos of them on so I could get opinions in case I did need glasses. Soon enough he asked me to come back to finish the exam. He had a light out and had me follow the light  with my eyes. I was looking from left to right and up and down. He put a head lamp on, looked around some more and then he printed my prescription. I need to get glasses – which is totally okay. Of course I think I look like a knob with glasses on but I’m sure they will grow on me.

On a side note, the eyedrops they use to dilate your pupils make your eyes EXTREMELY sensitive to light. I stepped outside and felt like I was on the sun. It hurt. Likely should not have drove home either. Of course he told me my eyes will be sensitive to light for a few hours after.. but I had to walk my dog and I lost my sunglasses. That hurt and resulted in a migraine. So if you take anything way from this post it should be: have a ride home after an eye exam and bring sunglasses.

update on my Invisalign treatment

If you have followed my blog since the start then you likely have seen a couple of the posts I wrote about Invisalign. If not, you might not have a clue what Invisalign is. Invisalign creates clear aligners that slowly move your teeth into better alignment in order to create picture perfect smiles. They are modern day braces. They aren’t cheap but they do come with their own unique benefits. Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign is a lot less noticeable. Since they are removable, brushing and cleaning my teeth is much easier than if I had traditional braces on. I remove my trays to eat and drink anything other than water. No one has asked me about them either, they are very discrete and hard to see unless you’re looking – or are up close.

I guess there are some down sides of Invisalign. I have had a couple minor issues. My 6th and 7th top row aligners have cracked. Luckily for me, they cracked close to the dates that I would normally switch to my new trays. Every two weeks I switch to new trays. I think the aligners make have become weak from me removing them over time. Each time I remove the aligners I was pulling from the same spot.

Unfortunately, this weekend I left my aligners in the DD’s car, I knew I would be going home in the vehicle and I couldn’t leave them in because I was drinking and eating. So I lost the top aligner of my 8th tray. They were left in the car door of the back seat. A friend of mine accidentally knocked them I guess and I couldn’t find it. I am pretty sure they fell on the ground outside in the dark. Thankfully I was to switch to my 9th set of aligners this week anyways, so I just did the switch early.

I was told to wear each set of aligners for 22 hours a day for a full two weeks. When I first cracked one of the aligners, I called the dentist office. They said I was close enough to switching to my next set anyways and gave me the go ahead to switch. Same thing happened with the next set, exact same spot to. It was around the same time, so I made the switch. Switching your trays early is not advisable and this of course would depend on your specific scenario and progression. I didn’t experience much pain or discomfort from switching early, but I think it’s because I have been close to the regular switch date anyways.

Other than that, I am very happy with the progress I’ve seen. My teeth have definitely straightened out and are coming together nicely. I do however feel awkward without my aligners in. Of course I try to minimize the amount of time that I go without them in. Although I do have (at least) 21 more sets of aligners; aka 42 more weeks of Invisalign left. I can’t wait to see the finished look of my teeth!

experience chiropractic work

For as long as I can remember I’ve suffered from discomfort in my neck and lower back. I can crack pretty much all my joints: toes, ankles, wrists, hips, back, neck, knees.. you name it. Now this isn’t something I am proud of, it’s kind of disturbing actually. It’s kind of funny because for the longest time I thought that it was normal. Doesn’t everyone experience the same aches and pains that I do? I’m sure my friends and family thought, or still think, that I am over exaggerating when I complain. I’m not a fan of popping pills if I don’t need to. I’d rather not take a muscle relaxer or pain reliever but sometimes I just have to. If my pain is throbbing and unbearable, I will try a topical treatment first. I like Saje’s pain release roll-on but it doesn’t always work for me. It’s all temporary relief anyways. I’ll stretch and I’ll lift weights to work the area. It helps get the blood flowing to ease the discomfort.

I’ve tried massage therapy and that hurt like no other. My massage therapist really focused on my lower back/butt area. I would leave sore and was tender for several days after. I went for a few months but really didn’t see any improvement. I’ve considered going to see a chiropractic work for a while now. This week, I finally booked in to see a local chiropractor for my initial exam. We discussed my case including a treatment plan. This included in take forms and a discussion about my problem areas. The chiropractor determined that the big factor in why my neck and lower back are giving me trouble is because of a lack of movement in the very bottom and in the very top of my spine. Most of this is because of two things: my addiction to my iPhone (looking down at my phone all day, every day) and my habit to sleep on my stomach.

Now, I’ve had a cell phone since I was in grade five. I am now 23. Also, for as long as I remember I have slept on my stomach. It’s so comfortable and I feel less vulnerable on my stomach. See, sleeping on your stomach is the worst position. It effects your lower back and your neck. You have pressure on your tail bone area and your forced to turn your head to lay on your pillow – which strains your neck over time. So I need to stop sleeping on my stomach and raise my phone in front of my face..

During the exam the chiropractor had me do some movements such as bending over to my toes, bending backwards and had me bend from side to side. Then she did my first alignment. My neck and lower back were the focus points. Honestly, it was pretty trippy and I did hear some loud snap, crackle and pops. But it didn’t hurt and I am used to doing this to myself; improperly.

Honestly, I was a bit nervous going in. I’ve heard the horror stories of people dying and what not. I “self-align” A LOT, which means I am constantly trying to pop areas of discomfort for that immediate relief. What the chiropractor told me though was that this isn’t doing me any good, this is cracking the same joints over and over but isn’t actually helping the problem areas. I’ve booked two more appointments and hope that I see some relief soon!

living with a food allergy

According to allergicliving.com, less than 10% of Canadians have food allergies. This statistic shocks me, this means only 1 in 13 Canadians have to worry about their food possibly causing a reaction. The numbers seems low to me; which is a good thing because many people are living without a food allergy. Unfortunately for me, I have a food allergy to sunflower seeds and I think a couple other seeds as well. It’s unfortunate because seeds are great for you. Not only are they are packed with health benefits but they are used in such a variety of food.

I think it is super weird how I can eat things cooked with, or in sunflower oil but I can’t eat the actual sunflower seed or any sunflower lecithin. Sunflower lecithin is an extract from the seed itself commonly used in cooking. What really sucks about having a food allergy is when you experience an unexpected reaction because the food you bought wasn’t labelled correctly, or the people preparing the food were unsure of what ingredients were actually used in the food they are selling. Yes, you can ask if the food or drink (yes, I’ve had a reaction to a $10 smoothie before because it unknowingly contained sunflower seeds) contains any seeds but honestly, you’re likely going to get an “I don’t know” or “We can’t be sure” answer. Again, you need to be looking out for yourself but how annoying is it asking if the food contains anything you’re allergic to? Very. For that reason I decided to compile some tips on how you can prepare and avoid a disturbing reaction below.

1. Call before you visit
I know from being a server in the past that it can be stressful on the kitchen when you report an allergy upon putting in an order. Kitchens are fast paced places, the staff is working hard to cook meals in a timely manner. So instead of showing up during the lunch or dinner rush with a serious and sometimes life threatening concern, call ahead. Ask to speak with the kitchen manager or head chef to see what items on the menu are best for you. Fast food places including take out establishments and coffee shops are no different – be sure to ask the right questions about how you can dine safe.

2. Be prepared
If you have a serious allergy that can leave you in anaphylactic shock, it’s important to keep an Epipen with you when you’re eating food that someone else prepared. If you have less severe allergies, it’s a good idea to keep an allergy medicine such as Benadryl on hand. Keep it in your pocket, leave it in the car – just have it near by. You can also look into using essential oils such as lavender and eucalyptus to help subside your reaction.

3. Ask questions and seek confirmation
As serious as a food allergy can be, you can’t expect others to be as cautious of your allergy as you are. Don’t hesitate to ask before you order if the meal contains the allergen. Once the meal is served, don’t be afraid to seek confirmation again. Politely ask “No sunflower seeds in this one, right?”  If you’re a large group and someone ordered the same dish as you, they likely had sunflower seeds in their dish and the server may have grabbed the wrong plate. You can never be to safe!

4. Take action
If you are experiencing a reaction, you need to take immediate action. Reactions can be different – even if it’s the same allergy. The same person can have different symptoms each time they encounter their allergen. Don’t ignore early symptoms, this can make things worse. Remember, anaphylaxis can occur without skin symptoms or hives.

5. Communicate your concern
For the longest time some family told me I wasn’t allergic to anything. I knew they clearly didn’t get it. You don’t just start feeling like absolute shit from eating the same thing every time. It’s also not normal to get hives, to feel like you can’t breath right, or for your eyes to water, your skin shouldn’t itch after eating something and you shouldn’t be puking after either. A reaction is different each time – sometimes I get a bad reaction and sometimes it’s nothing but an upset stomach and itchy throat. If you’re experiencing a reaction, tell someone. Tell them not to panic, but it’s a good idea to let someone else know. Don’t feel embarrassed or awkward. It is crucial to have those around you know in case the reaction worsens.