Thursday, July 14, 2016

Beach Days - The Perfect Tote

The weather here on Vancouver Island hasn't exactly been conducive to enjoying the beach, but I'm hanging on to the promise of sunnier and hotter days ahead. I'm totally prepped and ready for when that day comes. I have found the perfect beach tote! It's inexpensive and easily accessible for purchase. It's the Mainstays Collapsible Utility Tote and it's just $16. It folds down completely flat but is wire lined so very strong when you open it up.  Also, because you don't close the top it's very easy to find things inside of it rather than in a bag where everything sort of collapses on itself.

I thought I would show you an example of what I take to the beach on a regular basis and everything fits perfectly into this tote with room to spare.

A water bottle is a must whenever we go anywhere, it's important to stay hydrated and even more so in the summer months.
A towel of course (you could fit two in here) for after swimming.
Sunscreen, I like this spray on wet'n clear from Coppertone for the body and this Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face and Body stick for the face.
Beach toys of course for the kiddies.
I love this Fasten + Go lunch kit from Rubbermaid for our snacks (stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on beach day snacks).
And finally a beach blanket, I LOVE this one from Tofino Towel Co. Technically it's a towel but it's huge and perfect for laying on. This one is the Florencia design.

The front pocket easily fits a big water bottle while the other side holds sunscreen. I use the middle pocket for my phone and about $20 in cash for parking or if there happens to be a food truck near the beach and we have a craving for mini donuts (yum!).

Everything fits in perfectly, so slick!

Don't you just love this towel, so beautiful.

This Rubbermaid food kit is so cool. I love the strap, it's so retro and easily fastens tightly with a turn of the knob.

Lots of storage for a multitude of snacks.

Hope you are enjoying your beach days, or if not yet than I hope you get some hot summer sun soon (don't forget your sunglasses!).

What are your beach essentials? Feel free to share in the comments section.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Dresses

This is two clothing posts back to back which I don't normally do but they actually go together quite well as bralettes are perfect with summer dresses (you can see mine peeking out of the back of this first one here).

Free People carry so many great boho beachy type dresses and I love the swing style but it's too short for me to wear as a dress so I pair mine with boyfriend style jeans, shorts or leggings...depending on the temperature. This dress is called the She Swings Slip, and is so flowy and comfy. My necklace is from Often Wander.

How cute is this Volcom dress?? And it's on sale...only $30!

I'm loving this dress from O'Neill. It would be so great as a beach coverup. 

If you're looking for something a little bit longer this midi dress from Somedays Lovin is so pretty. I love the colour and the bird design.

And finally this cute black number from Juniors Fox that is on sale for only $32.

Are there any beachy summer dresses you're loving lately? Which of these ones is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Bralettes - A Summer Staple

I heart bralettes so much. They are incredibly comfortable and so sexy. They're made to peek out from under tanks and tees and they just add that little something extra. Dressed up with some fun jewelry, they just scream summer. They aren't made for support however so don't go for a run...ha! 

I've put together a few here that I'm loving along with links to purchase if you're so inclined...

This beautiful coral pink one from Victoria's Secret comes in many colours and is super reasonably priced at only $20.

This hot red number from MissGuided is on fire and only $29.95.

Another gorgeous one from Victoria's Secret and again only $20. I love the lace pretty.

This gorgeous triangle one from Free People comes in several colours but this Evergreen Glade is my favourite and only $36.40.

Victoria's Secret again....if you are wanting to purchase several than they are the place to go. I love this beachy print and again...just $20.

 Another Victoria's Secret one (they are just such a good deal...this one is $20 as well), love the detailing on the back.

Great detailing on this strappy backed one from Free People. It comes in lots of colours and is only $36.40.

This is the last one from Victoria's Secret. It's a little pricier at $56.50 but I love the fishnet detailing.

This one from ASOS is definitely a more expensive option but the detailing on both the front and back (click link for more pics) is so pretty. $92.58.

This super cute one I found on Etsy. It comes in both black and white and is only $22.15.

Which one is your favourite? Are you a bralette wearer? Could the lure of comfort and pretty details lure you in if you're not? It certainly worked for me. I started wearing them last summer and it has definitely become a staple in my summer wardrobe.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Basic Acai Bowl Recipe

I originally posted this picture to Instagram as well as a couple of other pictures to Snapchat ( @mariahdupuy ) and I had a few people ask me what's involved with making an acai bowl. I'm glad you asked, they are so good!

The usual go to cool treat in the summer (and we're having a heatwave here right now) is ice cream. Acai bowls are a great alternative and much better for you, in fact acai is considered to be a "superfood". Broken right down it's just a smoothie in a bowl, but it's a deconstructed one and so very pretty to look at and quite frankly...I like to eat pretty food, especially when it's easy.

All you need is approx two cups of frozen mixed berries (I used a four berry blend of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries):

To the berry blend add one tablespoon of acai powder and a half of a banana to keep things creamy and a little bit sweeter.

Add about 3/4 cup of almond milk, this is approximate as you want the blend to be quite thick, and start blending. I used my trusty Nutri Ninja blender (love!).

Once it's blended you scoop it into a bowl and decorate however you like. In mine I used the other half of the banana that I used in the berry blend, some fresh blueberries and raspberries as well as chia seeds down the middle and hemp hearts on the side. Between the acai, chia and hemp you'd be chalk full of healthy omega fatty acids and antioxidants.

There are so many other things you can add as toppings...granola, coconut flakes, chopped fruit of any kind, all kinds of seeds...honestly the options are endless.

It's the perfect healthy summer treat! 

Have you tried one before? Will you now?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Currently Reading

The last time I was in Costco I was browsing through the book section (which I always do) and came across a book called Stalker by Lars Kepler. I read the synopsis and it sounded creepily good, but it turns out it was the fifth book in a series so rather than buy it I went home and ordered book number one from my local library. The Hypnotist arrived quickly and I dug right in.

This book is now responsible for keeping me up at night....not because it's scary (it is creepy but not enough to give you nightmares...well, maybe if you are really sensitive) but because I can't put it down. I'm staying up late into the night reading it and then of course paying for it the next day, but I'm on the last few pages now so should be able to catch up my sleep shortly.

Lars Kepler is a Swedish husband and wife writing team and while they have each been published on their own I think they have knocked it out of the park with this collaboration. I already have book number two, The Nightmare, on order.

What are you reading these days? Do you like crime thrillers or do you favor a different genre?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

5K Foam Fest Nanaimo

I'll just come right out and say it on this was freaking awesome. If the 5K Foam Fest comes to your town you should definitely sign up. It reminds me of a traveling fair for adults (although there were some kids running too), but with all the fun stuff you would do as a kid....get soaking wet and muddy while climbing obstacles, sliding down slides, running across water on a line of foam mats, and laughing your guts out the whole time.

This was the third 5K my friend Dana and I have run in the last month and we were both totally pumped for this one. 

Husbands and kids came along to hang out (although we'll all be running it together next year now that we know what it's all about) and everything was set up very well to keep everyone entertained.
The foam of course was a big hit but there were bouncy castles and other play areas for the kiddies as well as lots of food vendors, loud music (which got everyone totally pumped up) and a beer garden for the adults. If you follow me on Snapchat (mariahdupuy) you will have seen videos there.

Can you find Dana and I in our starting group?

And then we were off and hitting the obstacles!

I think I was laughing most of the time...just so much fun.

Once we went around this corner Chris wasn't able to photograph us very much as the course went quite a ways away from the spectators. We went through a couple of mud pits, did some trail running and then it was time for the pond. The first part consisted of us running across the water on foam mats. I felt like I was going to bail the whole time but somehow managed to keep on my feet. I think it helped that Dana was yelling behind me "you can do it! keep going!"...and I did. :)
After that was a huge line up for the "lily pads" which was a string of fourteen inner tubes tied together across the pond. Thankfully the music was loud and fun (kind of brought me back to the very brief clubbing days in my twenties) and a little dancing kept us warm.

We did a few more obstacles which included crawling on our bellies in the mud under ropes before we came into Chris's photography view again.

Looking towards one of the rope obstacles..

After some more fancy footwork between ropes and more trail running we came to the second to last obstacle which was a very high slide.

 There was quite a long line up here again and this is when we both started feeling the chill. When you're sopping wet it's important to keep moving! We finally made it to our turn and climbed on up..

And down we came with Dana screaming, there was definitely some fear conquering going on!

 We slipped straight into a pool of water and I was laughing the whole time...seriously, so much fun.

Getting ready to hit the last obstacle..

And done! We collected our metals, towels and popsicles and here I am grinning like an idiot for the picture. Did I mention it was fun?

The kiddies took full advantage of the foam spilling out at the finish line..

And came out pretty wet and happy...

There was one more obstacle which wasn't included in the race but you could buy tickets for and that was Skyfall, a 25 foot drop onto an airbag.

Aiden didn't even hesitate..

It's surprisingly high once you get up there..

 But you've just got to jump!

 So much fun! Oh wait, I've said that several about a total blast?? Yes, it was a total blast, you should enter. ;)

I'll see you next year!