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Time for a Little Self-Care

coquitlam centre_fresh for spring

coquitlam centre_fresh for spring beauty_kerastase_the swank socialcoquitlam centre_fresh for spring_kiehls_the swank social blogcoquitlam centre_fresh for spring beauty_marc jacobs decadence While the rest of Vancouver waits patiently for the rain to stop and for the return of the sun, I’m over here prepping my skin for a major Spring refresh!

We all know how harsh the cold winter weather can be on our skin.  For me, my cheeks and hands get extremely dry, and every year I seem to try product after product after product.  I’ll share some of the products that have worked for me in another post, because I think it’s important that we give your skin the TLC it deserves right now!

Self-Care Saturday

  • WHEN:  Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 12 – 4pm
  • WHERE:  Coquitlam Centre (Event Central Level 2 between Gap and Luluemon)
  • WHAT TO EXPECT:  Join Coquitlam Centre for an afternoon focused on self-care, wellness and refreshing your skin for Spring with beauty and skin care experts including local bloggers and influencers, Gelsea Mae and Bree Aylwin, as well as TV and media personalities, Mary Zilba and Fiona Forbes.  Visit the #FreshForSpring Care Stations featuring select Coquitlam Centre retailers, all while sipping on DAVIDs TEA, indulging in Purdy’s Chocolates and entering to win over $3,500 in amazing door prizes.
  • #FRESHFORSPRING BEAUTY BOX:  From April 2 to April 14, enter to win 1 of 5 #FreshForSpring Beauty Boxes ($350+ value) filled with everything you need to refresh your skin for Spring!

coquitlam centre_fresh for spring beauty box_giveaway_the swank social#FreshForSpring Giveaway!

Love what you see?  Win your very own #FreshForSpring Beauty Box right here!  Coquitlam Centre is generously giving one of my supporters a #FreshForSpring Beauty Box worth over $350!  To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway is open to Vancouver / Lower Mainland residents 18 years and older only, and ends Friday, April 13, 2018 at 9pm PST.

Disclosure:  All opinions in this post remain my own and do not reflect the opinions or views of Coquitlam Centre and/or their affiliates.  We received a #FreshForSpring Beauty Box and a form of compensation in order to complete this post.

Product photography:  Janelle Sacccucci

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Celebrate

Easy Birds Nest Mini Egg Recipe

birds-nest-recipe-easter-the-swank-social

If you’re anything like me (aka Last Minute Queen), you’re currently frantically scouring Pinterest for the perfect last-minute Easter treat to smush together for the 30 to 60 (maybe 90?) little ones in your kids’ classes.

Am I right?!

Looks like you’re in luck because I’m sharing that perfect treat for you right here!  While it’s not completely original (it’s a Pinterest find for sure), I always resort to these easy, no-bake, under-an-hour birds nest treats when I’m running behind or when it feels like the week has just creeped up to me and I have nothing.

birds-nest-recipe-the-swank-social

Bird’s Nest Easter Treats (No-Bake)

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups dried chow mein noodles
  • mini eggs (3 to 4 per nest)

DIRECTIONS

Melt butter and marshmallows together in a large saucepan on low heat.

Stir vanilla extract into the butter/marshmallow mixture and add chow mein noddles, stirring quickly to coat the noodles evenly.

Remove from heat.  You’ll want to work quickly for the next step (think Rice Krispie squares!). For each nest, form a ball and push down with your thumb in the middle of the ball to create the “nest”.  I used a mini cupcake pan, which made it easier to shape the nests.  Repeat.

Add 3 to 4 mini eggs to each nest and voila!

birds-nest-recipe-easter-the-swank-social

This recipe should make about at least 30 nests (good for one class!) depending on the size of each nest.  Enjoy!

xo,
kristina

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Collabs Lifestyle

The GLOWrious Effect

What does being GLOWrious mean to me?

It means a lot of things, but the one thing it means to me at this point in my life is self-care.  As in taking care of myself before I take care of others.  Not saying that my family and my kids don’t come before me (believe me, I make sure our lives are in order and everyone is taken care of lol!).

While some may have strong opinions about self-care or may feel that some of the things in this post come across as selfish, I’m a strong believer that if I take care of myself, it means the relationships I cherish the most in my life will be healthy, positive and fulfilling because I feel healthy, positive and fulfilled.

you are glowrious project skin md

How I stay GLOWrious:

never neglect yourself 

I made a conscious promise to myself that no matter what happens once my kids entered my life, I would never neglect myself.  This means taking uninterrupted showers once a day, doing my hair and my makeup in the mornings, and scheduling regular beauty maintenance appointments (a girl’s gotta look good!).  Now, I’m not going to lie – the showers and getting myself ready happen on a daily basis, but the beauty appointments?  They do get pushed onto the back burner if life gets too busy!

                                                                                                                         spend time with your partner

A healthy relationship with your partner or significant other will do wonders for your surrounding relationships.  My husband and I have always showed affection in front of our children, we always converse with a very sarcastic sense of humour (something the kids definitely picked up on), we laugh 1,000 times a day and we (sometimes reluctantly) talk about the trials and tribulations of our lives.  You know, the things we’re ashamed of and things we want to change to personally better ourselves and our relationship.  Marriage, and relationships in general, take a lot of work!

I often complain about how tired I am and my 18 year old step-daughter told me it was because I don’t got to bed early enough because I watch tv with my husband until late.  She’s probably right, but here’s the thing:  it’s our thing.  An hour or two of alone time after the kids go to bed is healthy for us to wind down, de-stress, cuddle on the couch while binge watching The Crown, and reflecting on the day and the world around us.  It may look silly or boring to the kids, but they’ll be eating their words one day when they get to where we are!

feed your soul

I’m not sure about you, but I feel like I literally grew up on burgers, frozen food and pre-packaged foods.  It’s definitely a North American thing, but it’s not a thing in our household.  I live for home cooked meals and it’s probably because of the influence from hubby and my mother-in-law.  The fact that you know what you’re putting in your food is gold.  And it makes you feel good!  I love experimenting with foods from different cultures and incorporating the dishes in our home, but I don’t love cooking (isn’t that the way it always is?!).  Luckily, we have some balance in the kitchen where hubby will cook a majority of the time (blessed!).  So, it’s basically a fair 70/30 split and I win, haha!

                                                                beauty sleep

I’d feel more GLOWrious every day if I actually got more than 4-5 hours of sleep a night.  I know that.  So, it’s my ongoing goal to go to bed a bit earlier, manage my time better and get that beauty sleep!

#iamGLOWrious project skin md#iamGLOWrious project skin md#iamGLOWrious project skin md

So now you know how I stay GLOWrious each and every day!  It’s always a work in progress and is never as simple as it sounds.  I have to constantly work at these aspects of my life and remind myself that consistency really is key.  After all, if you’re happy and glowing on the inside, you can bet you’ll see that contagious GLOWrious glow come out on the outside!

What Does GLOWrious Mean to YOU?

#iamGLOWrious project skin md the swank social

Shop the exclusive #iamGLOWrious apparel line at Project Skin MD, snap a pic and share what glowing means to you on social media.  For every photo tagged with #iamGLOWrious, Project Skin MD will generously donate $1 to BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre.

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post, but I did receive an #iamGLOWrious tee from Project Skin MD with the intention of fully supporting their GLOWrious cause.  The opinions and views in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinion or views of Project Skin MD and/or their affiliates.

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Collabs Lifestyle

New Years Refresh with Project Skin MD

Project Skin MD lounge

What better way to kick off the New Year than with a post-holiday, hello 2018 refresh from Project Skin MD?Project Skin MD lounge

At the beginning of Fall (yes, last year lol!), I had the honour of experiencing the Silk Peel Microdermabrasion Treatment at, in my opinion, the best lifestyle clinic focused purely on skin health and natural beauty.  At 34, I’m still in denial at the thought of “aging” and have always thought that anti-aging creams and regimens would be a thing in the far, far future.  Now, when I look in the mirror, I’m not sure if I should be kicking myself or kick-starting a skin care regimen to preserve what’s left of my youth 😉  Probably the latter…

To be honest, I’ve never been one to be overly obsessed with the latest and greatest in skincare and makeup products.  My skincare routine is literally cleanse, moisturize, cleanse, moisturize.  I typically purchase my cleansers and moisturizers from the local drugstore – a habit that my skin care specialist at Project Skin MD highly recommended against (more on why later on in this post).  As I age, I’m more curious about what products are out there, what procedures are available to me (short of plastic surgery) and what steps I can take to make sure I age gracefully.  Sure genetics seem to be on my side, but I am noticing those famous laugh lines and forehead frown lines (I have this weird habit of squinting my eyes and frowning when I’m in deep concentration – probably as a result of poor vision LOL).

Back to my Project Skin MD experience!  First of all, have you ever been to a boutique clinic where you can tell the owners and their interior designer nailed every little detail of their design and decor – so much so that no matter where you turn, it’s completely Instagrammable?  I mean…

Project Skin MD lounge

And then there’s the actual treatment.  Talk about rejuvenating, refreshing and Project Skin’s promise, R&R = Results & Relaxation – all the ‘R’ words!!  The treatment began in the PS Glow Room – a space within Project Skin MD that opened in November 2016, solely dedicated to introductory medical aesthetic services such as medical facials, peels and microdermabrasion.

I initially anticipated the Silk Peel Microdermabrasion Treatment to be slightly painful because of all the stories I used to hear from back in the day about microdermabrasion (they’re all exaggerated!) and the after effects (think red, burnt skin).  This microdermabrasion treatment had none of the above and I can attest to the fact that I felt like my skin had undergone a deep, deep much-needed clean.  Using a diamond treatment tip with vacuum and suction technologies (it feels funny at first, but you’ll get used to it!) to exfoliate and remove dull skin cells from your face, this treatment was unlike any facial I’ve ever experienced.  My skin actually felt CLEAN and refreshed!

And why should only my face feel clean and refreshed?  I’m so excited to partner up with Project Skin MD to give one of my lucky followers/readers a chance to win their very own Silk Peel Microdermabrasion Treatment experience!!  To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.  Entrants must be 18 years or older and able to attend the Vancouver location of Project Skin MD for their treatment.

Disclosure:  All opinions in this review remain my own and do not reflect the opinions or views of Project Skin MD, PS Glow Room and/or their affiliates.  We received a complimentary Silk Peel Microdermabrasion Treatment in order to complete this review.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Collabs Lifestyle

Experience Ayurveda: Bombay Beauty Co. + a Giveaway!

Bombay beauty co rose clay mask ayurveda

Every single relationship I’ve made through social media over the past few years has made a tremendous impact in my life and has not only allowed me to explore my creative curiosities, but they’ve also shaped me into the person I am today.  Without the encouragement and support of all of the inspiring women (and men!) that give me that push, whether positive or negative, The Swank Social wouldn’t be where it is today.

So when the CEO of Bombay Brow Bar reached out to me about her new (and absolutely GORGEOUS) concept store located in the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, I was smiling from ear to ear.  You see, Ravy and I first connected years ago – I’m thinking it was around 7-8 years ago – at the time when Bombay Brow Bar was just starting out and my family blog, SwankMama, was taking off.  I remember her being so sweet and thoughtful, but we never had a chance to connect other than through email.  Years flew by, life went on and we added a few kids into the mix, and here we are today!

Ravy recently launched her concept store, Bombay Beauty Co., which is focused around balance and the beauty of Ayurveda.  The story behind Ravy’s newest venture is inspiring yet heartbreaking, but her passion and the reason why she started creating her own line of natural beauty and skin products using the Ayurveda practice, and what later evolved into the space now known as Bombay Beauty Co., is the type of story that inspires me on a daily basis.

As soon as you walk into Bombay Beauty Co., you’ll notice that Ravy has incorporated its sister brand, Bombay Brow Bar, into the design, decor and colour palette.  Think rich marble floors and accents, dramatic curtains and mirrors, and touches of gold sprinkled throughout.  Trust me, as soon as you get over the gorgeousness of it all, you’ll almost forget the real reason you came!

I was treated to their signature Bombay Rose Facial – a therapeutic and luxurious Ayurvidic inspired clay facial experience using Bombay Beauty Co.’s all natural Bombay Rose Signature Collection.  It was seriously the most relaxing facial I’ve ever indulged in.  Not only can you feel the mask gently extracting all of your skin’s impurities, but you’ll be able to relax for the full 40 minute treatment while enjoying a calming hand and head massage.  While there aren’t any physical extractions performed during the facial, my face instantly felt rejuvenated and more nourished (the cold weather is doing a number on my skin!).

Ravy and her team have also created a house line of all-natural Ayurvedic inspired skin care products locally made in Vancouver.  When speaking with Ravy about her inspiration and desire to ensure that her skin care line is accessible by every woman can experience the beauty of Ayurveda at an affordable price.  After all, self-care equals self-confidence and self-love – three of Bombay Beauty Co.’s empowering mantras!

Win a Beauty of Ayurveda Experience!

Bombay Beauty Co. has generously offered to give away TWO Bombay Rose Facials to one of our lucky readers – one for the winner and one for their BFF!  To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.  The giveaway is open worldwide to entrants 18 years of age and over.  You must be able to claim your treatments at Bombay Beauty Co. located at 829 West Cordova, Vancouver, BC, Canada (inside the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel).

Disclosure:  All opinions in this review remain my own and do not reflect the opinions or views of Bombay Beauty Co., Bombay Brow Bar and/or their affiliates.  We received a complimentary Bombay Rose Facial in order to complete this review.

Photography:  Janelle Saccucci

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

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A Winters Dream Holiday Tablescape

It’s already December (how?!) and all I can do is reminisce about a holiday styled shoot I created a few years back with my lovely and very talented friend, Amy from Confetti and Co.!

When I started The Swank Social, it was all about celebrations, confetti and creative collaborations.  It was a fun time and I made so many connections through the work that I did, but it wasn’t fulfilling enough for me.  Plus, I had a personal reason why I decided to go back to work full-time (best decision ever!) and slowly concentrate on growing The Swank Social as a blog during my spare time lifestyle blog.  It only took a year to finally grasp and understand how to balance my time.

Actually, scratch that.

I still don’t know how to balance my time.  I’m almost certain that I’ll never figure that out, but here we are!

Okay, back to the holidays and Christmas.  And back to the days where a crisp, white studio space was extremely hard to come by.  We booked (the now defunct) Sugar Studios for our collaborative shoot and started working our magic:

holiday tablescape floralswooden name laser cut placecardsholiday tablescape sugar cookie placecardchristmas holiday floralsholiday party tablescapechristmas holiday tablescapeholiday party tablescapechristmas holiday tablescape setupchristmas holiday styled shootchristmas holiday tablescapechristmas holiday tablescapechristmas holiday friendschristmas holiday cheers

While I do miss the days where I got to plan and execute events that were dear to my clients’ hearts, I’m so fortunate to have this social platform that allows me to keep creating, collaborating and styling!  Currently, I’m just trying to let it settle in that it’s almost Christmas!!

xx Kristina

 

Collaborators:

Styling:  The Swank Social and Confetti & Co. | Photography:  Studio 86 Creative Design | Floral Arrangements:  Celsia Floral | Placecard Cookies:  Whisk | Wooden Name Placecards and Balloons:  Confetti & Co. | Custom Menu and Print:  Kardz Kouture | Plates and Table Decor:  The Cross Design | Chairs:  Eclat Decor

Vendors:

Flatware:  West Elm | Glassware, Wooden Chargers and Napkins:  Indigo

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Collabs Lifestyle

How Do You KIND?

In a world filled with immense negativity, it’s always refreshing to come out of the day with a positive attitude and knowing that you’ve somehow made a difference – either your life or someone else’s.  That’s all the more reason why I’ve teamed up with KIND for World Kindness Day to help spread a little kindness and also share how I plan to leave a KIND legacy in my own life.

Not only is KIND committed to ensuring their snack line is healthy and tasty for their consumers (one of their mottos is “if you can’t pronounce the ingredient, it shouldn’t go into your body”), they are fully committed to fostering and. nurturing the communities around them and to make the world KINDer.  Hence why they started the KIND Movement.

How I KIND

My Relationships

Now in my 30’s with two kids of my own, it’s only recently that I realized that the kinder I am to myself and my body, the kinder I am to the loved ones around me.  We recently moved out to the suburbs, but still work in the city (and the kids go to school in the city), so the daily commute kills us.  It’s completely random whether there’s a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam or whether we zip through the freeway at record times.  On a typical weekday, I’m drained and by the end of the week, not even five cups of coffee could save me.  So, recently, I’ve made a commitment to myself that I will go to bed at least an hour earlier and try to not hit the snooze button when my alarm goes off in the morning (I find that makes me even more tired/groggy – does that happen to you too?).  Trust me, I’m a much happier/kinder person when I’ve gotten my beauty sleep 🙂  I’m also more tolerant and compassionate towards my kids – two qualities that are very important for me to pass on to them.

I’m also trying to be more conscious about my relationship with my step-daughter.  She’s almost 18 and finishing up her last year at high school.  The dynamics are definitely different and, because I’ve helped raise her full-time since she was around 8 years old and she lives with us, it’s been a struggle between my boundaries and hers.  The respect goes both ways and I’m still very much learning how to juggle to balance.  After all, we kind of go through this whole parenting thing blindly, don’t we?

And who can forget about hubby?!  We make a conscious effort to spend at least an hour together every evening – even if it means cuddling up on the couch and watching our favourite Netflix shows.  I recall my step-daughter commenting on this after I was telling her that I need to start going to bed earlier and all she saw was that we just sat on the couch and watched TV every night.  Little does she know why!

My Body

While I struggle with time management in my personal life, I’ve made a solid commitment to myself to watch what I eat and to start working on my fitness again.  It’s time to tone up my body and get rid of my “mama butt”, as my kids call it, haha!  To be continued…

Our Surroundings

It’s very important for me to raise my kids with empathy, manners and awareness of others.  That could be simply holding a door open for the person behind them, saying “please”, “thank you” and “excuse me”, doing chores around the house (that includes laundry, cleaning their room and picking up toys, and taking out the garbage).  Smiling.  Acknowledgement.  No electronic devices (our decision in the past couple years and it’s been working for us – no judgment otherwise).  I just want them to grow up to be a KIND person.

#snackKIND

We’ve partnered with KIND to spread some KINDness on World KINDness Day (November 13th).  Share with us how you plan to spread KINDness today and everyday, and you could win a KIND prize pack.  The giveaway is open to Canadian residents 18+ years.  Head over to my Instagram page (@theswanksocial) to enter!

Disclosure:  All opinions and views in this post remain my own and do not reflect those of KIND Snacks and/or their affiliates.  We received a KINDness starter kit in exchange for this post.

 

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