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!

fall 2017 sample source

The new season means another Sample Source box. Now that I’ve been getting these for a couple years now, I have friends and family on board! It’s a really great way for brands to market themselves and a great way for consumers to test products with no commitment, silly newsletters or any nuisance. Each new season, Sample Source sends out an email to give a heads up about new samples and then another email to let you know to log in and pick your selections. What is available to you is based off a quick survey that gives Sample Source a better idea of the samples you would be best for. Some questions about your living situation, eating habits, pets,  etc.

So, here is what I go this time around!

1. Purina Vitality + Dog Food
This was a pretty big ticket sample, a 2kg bag of dog food! However, I am a snob in what I feed my dog so I have slowly just been adding a bit to my dog’s bowl every now and then. Because of the ingredients, I wouldn’t buy this regularly for my dog but the price difference really makes me reconsider.

2. Nordica Smooth Cottage Cheese
Honestly, the best item in this seasons’ box! Although I think the brand expected the consumers to test the plain cottage cheese, I knew that I loved the salted caramel! I would not have used or enjoyed plain cottage cheese but this stuff is great, especially when dipped in apples.

3. Coffee Pods by Nabob and Maxwell House
I like getting coffee pods. It’s the perfect way to experiment and try new coffee without committing to an entire box of pods. Both great brands and known for their coffee.

4. Adam’s All Natural Peanut Butter
I love peanut butter. Like, an unhealthy addiction. This was tasty stuff! I’d love to try a crunchy version because that’s what I normally purchase but I loved the idea of an all natural peanut butter.

5. Breathe Right Strips
I swear by these strips. I first tried using them after receiving them in my Sample Source before. They work, but you need to be sure to follow the instructions or you could end up with a bruise on your nose – take it from me..

6. Cesar Entrees Wet Dog Food
Again, I don’t want to upset my dog’s stomach and honestly, I don’t want to deal with wet dog food on the regular. However, this makes a nice treat for my dog. I can add a scoop or two on top of my dog’s regular meals and I’m sure she likes that!

7. Kashi Seven Grain Quinoa Bar
After reviewing the ingredients list for this item, I decided not to try it based on my allergies.

8. Kellogg’s Vector Protein Bar
After reviewing the ingredients list for this item, I decided not to try it based on my allergies.

9. Sunlight 4-in-1 Powercore Pods
On the package, it says this product restores whites and protects colours and fabric. For that reason, I used this pod in a wash of whites. I wanted to brighten up my white shirts. Let me tell you, this pod was the size of my palm. It’s was next level. As far as the results, I’m not sure how different this pod is from any other on the market.

10. Pedigree DentaFlex 
Honestly, I am still scared to give this to my dog right now. My sister’s dog started experiencing some weird stuff after the last time these were in the box and we’re not sure what it’s from exactly. It could be a coincidence but it’s really not worth the vet bill for me – sorry Pedigree and sorry Ellie!

11. Pedigree DentaFlex
These I have no problem feeding to my dog. I have been buying these for a couple years and have never had an issue. My dog loves them but seems to go through one rather quick. It’s a nice treat that contributes to oral health – so that’s a plus!

12. Sensodyne Toothpaste
This isn’t a new product for me, I’ve used Sensodyne before. I like to keep these little sample sizes for travel or to keep at the office. Since using Invisalign, I have definitely tripled the amount of toothpaste I use.

13. Sensodyne Mouthwash
Since I have Invisalign, I will take all the oral hygiene products I can! I’ve used Sensodyne before. I like to keep these little sample sizes for travel or to keep at the office. I usually use another brand because I like the whitening benefits rather than the sensitivity.

To be blunt, I wasn’t overly impressed with the items in this box and have already sampled a lot of this stuff before. It’s nice to see full size items, I can’t wait to see what the next box has! You can check out and sign up for Sample Source to be included in the next round.

WHAT TO WATCH ON NETFLIX (CANADA)

It’s cuffing season! As the cold weather sets in and the daylight hours diminish, most of us will start to lounge around inside more often than during the warmer months. What better way to spend a lazy night or Sunday then watching Netflix with your favourite snack? I have put together a list of offerings available on Netflix Canada for your viewing pleasure. Whatcha waiting for? Put the feet up and dive in!

1. How to Get Away with Murder
I kind of felt like this series starts a bit slow but by the middle of the first season, you are going to be hooked. Basically, a defence lawyer and her students get themselves into some wild situations and have to get themselves out of a lot of intense situations. Starring Viola Davis, there are three seasons on Netflix so far.

2. Gaga: Five Foot Two
Even if you don’t love Lady Gaga, you’ll find some inspiration in this documentary. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta aka Lady Gaga pours herself into her career despite suffering from some heavy health issues. This documentary is just under two hours long and gives you an inside look on Gaga as she promotes her album and gears up for her Superbowl performance.

3. Shameless
The other day I was explaining this as a raunchy version of Modern Family. An alcoholic father and his offspring go through a ton of ups and downs as the oldest sister tries to care for her younger siblings. I can’t recommend this series enough.

4. Girlboss
I haven’t got too deep into this series but so far, so good. It follows a young go-getter who is sick of where she is at in life. She starts doing her own thing by scouring thrift shops for expensive finds and resells them for what they are worth. This one is relatable for any young adult trying to find their place in the adult world.

5. Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life
Love him or hate him, you know you like at least one of Chris’ tracks. This documentary really reminds those like myself who aren’t superfans about the success Chris Brown has had. After working with Usher from his teenage years to performing a tribute to the late Michael Jackson at the BET Awards and of course the entire assault trail after his altercation with Rihanna this really puts things into perspective.

Hope you find something to watch, I’m going to go watch How to Get Away with Murder now!

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!

cooking for one // spicy cauliflower

Oh boy! Cauliflower is the new potato, friends. One of the best appetizers I have had is a Buffalo Cauliflower dish. It was beer battered cauliflower tossed in buffalo sauce and served with a dill ranch dressing for dipping. Since it was deep fried, it wasn’t the healthiest of options. However, I have a tasty side dish for you that is very similar and doesn’t involve batter or a deep fryer! If you love hot sauce, you need to make this. Did I mention this is going to be super easy and quick to make? Let’s dig in!

The first step is to wash your cauliflower. I won’t judge you if you skip this step but you should. Next, cut the cauliflower into small floret chunks. I used half a head of cauliflower. Moving on – toss the florets into a hot pan (medium/high) and then drizzle with two teaspoons of olive oil (or so – I tend to NOT measure things) – then add minced garlic! Now, mix well.

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Let the cauliflower brown up a bit, stirring often to keep it from burning and to get it evenly heated throughout. Ater three minutes or so, turn the heat down to low. On low, I let the cauliflower cook a few more minutes before adding the lime juice and soya sauce in. Use your best judgment on how much, I’d say a quarter of a lime would give you enough juice and a few dashess of soy sauce should do the trick. Continue to mix well. Once you get an even coat… add the hot sauce! How much hot sauce to add just depends on how hot you like. I did quite a bit. This adds a nice colour (and flavour!) to the dish. Continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes before serving.

Feeling fancy? Top with green onion and enjoy!

songs for your playlist // 005

Do you restrict your music consumption by genre? People often say they “hate” country. In my opinion, not all country sounds the same. Some of the new country music sounds similar to country music released decades ago but on the other hand, a lot of the new country music has a lot of pop and rock influences.

How about music consumption, do you restrict your music consumption by listening device? I listen to music in the car both on the radio and using Bluetooth while streaming. I listen on my iPhone and from my computer; either using Spotify or YouTube. As I was growing up cassette players and then CD walkmen were the cool thing to have. I even had a mp3 player that held a whopping 15 songs at once. I also like CDs still. I don’t have a record player or any vinyl – but I wouldn’t say I limit my music consumption to one device.

I’ve always been really receptive to new music. In this post, I share some more tracks from a variety of genres (mostly pop, let’s be serious). Take a listen and hopefully you will find a least one song to add to your playlist!

1. What Ifs – Kane Brown ft. Lauren Alaina

2. Bodak Yellow  – Cardi B

3. Too Good At Goodbyes – Sam Smith

4. Good Ole Days – Macklemore ft. Kesha

5. …Ready For It?  – Taylor Swift

6. Get Low – Zedd ft. Liam Payne

All of the links above direct to YouTube videos. This way you can see the visuals and listen to the tracks. I love to see music videos so I am thinking maybe I will start to embed the videos into the blog post moving forward. If you would like to see the music videos on boywhoblogs.com instead of having to click away from the blog, let me know! Be sure to check out boy who blogs on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

product review: munchpak #2

I was lucky enough to review MunchPak before but someone from their team reached out for a second review. MunchPak is a subscription box service that sends you a box full of snacks. There is a variety of snacks inside some are candy, chocolate and even some salty treats like chips. I received the MunchPak Original. This offering includes 10 or more items for only $19.95. Don’t fret! If you want fewer snacks or more snacks you can always opt in or out. The MunchPak Mini will cost you $9.95 for five or six snacks. The FamilyPak costs $39.95 is the best value and includes 20 or more items. The snacks included are from all over. You might find Canadian snacks but you will also get to try stuff from Asia, the UK and all over!  MunchPak will even ship worldwide but of course, shipping rates will vary depending on where you live.

They even have their own shop so you can purchase the items you loved – or find new ones and purchase by item if you’re not into the idea of a surprise or mystery!

So here is what I received in my second MunchPak! PS. You can save $3 off your own MunchPak by using promo code “boywhoblogs

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Sweet & Salty Chocolate Peanut Butter Bugles (USA)
These were actually unreal! I loved them. I was a bit skeptical at first because they are Bugles and I’m used to the original. The chocolate peanut butter flavouring was very good. I really liked these.

Doritos Pizzerolas (Mexico)
These were different… not bad but I wouldn’t buy them. Doritos has so many amazing flavours but I wouldn’t consider the Pizzerolas flavour one their best. I did, however, finish the bag. The pizza taste is not the same as what you would taste in a pizza flavoured Pringle.

Boston Baked Beans (Mexico)
Well, these aren’t beans. They are more of a novelty, gag item. The beans are actually candy coated peanuts. I didn’t enjoy the candy coating at all but the peanuts weren’t bad! I didn’t and won’t finish these.

Bebeto Wacky Sticks Strawberry Flavor (Turkey)
Without a question one of my favourite items! I love wacky sticks and strawberry flavoured snacks. These were really good and I noticed that you get a good amount of straws in the package. These are similar to the candy straws available in Canada.

Skawa Orange Yogurt Dragees (Poland)
These little balls were just alright. One of the two items I didn’t finish and probably won’t. They aren’t bad or anything, just not my favourite. They have a harder coating and a light yogurt-like creamy inside.

White & Red Flag Caramel Heaven Wafers (Poland)
This was disgusting good. I love caramel and wafers are great. I had to eat this in like four sitting because it was a bit much. Great tasting product but not something I would regularly buy if they were readily available in Canada.

Dragonfly Lotus Tea (Vietnam)
To be honest, drinking a tea without reading the label scares me and I’ve yet to build up the courage to try this. Lotus tea has its health benefits and is supposed to be a sweet, fruity tea.

Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles (United Kingdom)
Within my top three for sure. I love Rowntrees products and generally seem to enjoy candy and chocolate from the UK. The best way to describe these would be like a sugar-coated wine gum.

Nestle Morochas Cookies (USA)
These weren’t bad but nothing to rant and rave over. I’m not a huge cookie lover.

Yaokin Cola Candy Straws (Japan)
These sour cola straws were delicious! One of my favourites, they were cola flavoured which was interesting.

Sign up for MunchPak today and save $3 with the use of my promo code “boywhoblogs

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.