fashion

6 Mini Purses you Need for your Next Trip

img_0452 I revealed my purse addiction in my previous post. My obsession grew when I realised a penchant for mini-purses. I bought a small wallet and frequently switched between my favourites. If I'm travelling for longer than a week I need more than one purse. Mini-purses don't take up too much room in my luggage which gives me the variety I love while away.

When I heard Amazon.ca would launch Canada's largest selection of purses I couldn't contain my excitement. Keep reading to see what purse you could get for your next vacation.

[photo credit: Desiree Thomas]

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Liebeskind Berlin Lennja Laced Saddle Cross-Body Bag When your outfit is boring, a purse can be the perfect statement piece. A suede mint green accessory definitely makes an impression.

ZAC Zac Posen Eartha Iconic Top Handle Mini This bag captivated me before I even did research for this list. If you're a bit bolder than me, check out the big and bold red version (complete with flowers on the second handle)

Rebecca Minkoff Large Multi Tassel Saddle This purse screams music festival.  The line of short suede tassels and combination of studs give this purse a rock-chic look. Get your fringe fix before it's off-trend with this baby!

Calvin Klein Smooth Leather Cross-Body Bag Love the simple design of this bag. A gold and geometric touch for the clasp and a soft pink for the body (without obvious branding). It's the perfect purse to throw on before a stroll down Avenue Victor Hugo in Paris.

Vince Camuto Baily Quilted Cross Body Bag Who says small bags can't be roomy? This bag comes with a secret expansion zipper on the bottom that fits right into the design. Plus the colour is bomb.

LOEFFLER RANDALL Medium Rider Tumbled Leather Satchel Love the structure on this baby. I've always wanted to own something in periwinkle, this purse seems like the perfect opportunity. Some of my friends wonder how I can carry a mini purse. The secret is organisation. This bag has ample pockets for storing keys a wallet, some key makeup items and more.

 

Top 6 Carry-Alls You Need for Your next Vacation

I’m excited to announce my partnership with Amazon.ca! I will be curating my favourite products available on the website that I recommend for travellers.  square

While I favour backpacks as carry-on options, I am the biggest fan of carry-all bags as my 'personal bag' or purse on the plane. Last year I was on the hunt for the perfect one (I thankfully found two!). However, I'm always on the lookout for other huge totes to bring along with me on my journeys. Check out my current faves below!

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1. Calvin Klein Sonoma Quilted Fara Reversible Tote Anything quilted is an automatic yes in my books since it reminds me of my favourite style; equestrian. Pretty cool that it's reversible too!

2. SQLP Women's Waterproof Handbag This large purse is in the lower price point range among this group. The vegan bag also has an inner attachment that matches the interior of the bag.

3. ECCO Jilin Shopper  I'm a fan of the kinds of leather Ecco uses. The simple design with geometric details is a trademark of the Danish brand and I'd love to rock this one in the airport.

4. Rebecca Minkoff Multi Tassel Tote  Now, this bag is a Rebecca Minkoff purse I can get behind! While the tassels are a little flamboyant for me I think a little flare never hurt anyone.

5. TUMI Voyageur Just in Case Travel Duffel This big bag is one of my favourites. I've always wanted a TUMI luggage set and for now, this is as close as it's going to get for me. This piece (like several of the other bags) also comes with a mini bag inside so you can clip your essentials to the handle for easy access.

6. Vince Camuto Riley Medium Tote This triple-interior purse would be a dream come true while on the plane. I try to be organized when I pack my purse for the plane: important things in one pocket, entertainment in the other and a spare pocket for last minute things that didn't fit in my knapsack.

You might have noticed that they're all black. While I'm pretty adventurous with what I wear, my purses tend to be black or brown. Maybe I should try something else?

What Its Like to Have a Colourful Personality

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I think everyone feels out of place. Weird. Odd. Different. Those feelings resonated with me growing up because I have an extremely colourful personality.

Pictures by my girl Raya at Style Controversy

Almost in my mid-twenties, I realized that I allowed the world around me to soften my edges. And dull some of my bright sides. I was super bubbly and chatty as a kid, and while I retained some of that lustre, it just wasn't the same.

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Shirt: Gap, Pants, Gap, Shoes: Urban Outfitters, Purse: Zara Vest: Similar

Passive aggressive comments and jealous remarks from people I considered to be friends weighed heavy on me. 'What's wrong with me?' I used to think. 'Why can't I just be normal?' I used to ask myself. Even before I was homeschooled for most of high school, I would ponder on my inability to be able to fit in and the anxiety I had surrounding it. I often spent lunch breaks alone and explored the historical neighbourhood I grew up in by myself. Or I volunteered at my school library and buried myself in the plots of my heroes, getting lost in their fictional lives that seemed as tragic as my own.

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I also grew up in a pretty strict and religious household. So I couldn't go out to parties or dress like everyone else. Being pulled out of school seemed to be the final nail in the coffin that was my blah social life.

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But all of these things made me, me. I wouldn't change any of it. Instead, I've tried to embrace what I can't change and just roll with the punches. I won't allow criticism to shape me unless it's constructive and from the heart.

Do you have a colourful personality, too? Let me know in the comments!

#FitFam: 5 Ways to Stay Fit for Travellers

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After I had got back from Vegas, I was thrown into a new job and didn't take the time to focus on myself. I got comfy in my oversized sweaters and leggings and didn't realize that they were getting a bit tight! Then before I knew it, I was away the next weekend in Blue Mountain after Vegas then on a 3-week trip to Europe in the summer. I put together a little plan to make sure I can be fit and feel comfortable in my skin, no matter where I am.

I joined a Gym

While I've had steady results working out at home, seeing money leave my bank account is motivation enough to ensure that I get my butt moving before I leave on a trip and after I return. No matter how good I feel that I look, I'll ensure that I head out to the gym and put in work. Plus I love working out in classes! I've taken some of the moves that I've learned in those classes and personal training sessions and modified them for hotel room and hotel gym workouts.

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I Surrounded Myself with Inspiration

From the people I hang around to the body-positive Instagram accounts I follow, I try to surround myself with fitness inspiration every day. Jetsetter, Iskra Lawrence is one of my faves to follow on Snapchat and Instagram. From city to city, the Australian model works hard, trains hard and looks amazing while doing it all. Another is Canadian Running magazine cover model (and one of my faves), Sasha Exeter. The frequent traveller's body is ridiculous (she looks even better in person), and I love watching her fitness journey and Snapchat adventures online.

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I Made Fitness Part of my Adventure

From hiking across Ben Nevis in Scotland to walking over 10k in a day in Barcelona and New York, I try to incorporate some activity into my day when travelling. I can count only a handful of times that I've hopped in a taxi or Uber while away. I prefer to see and explore cities by foot and public transport. When stuck in a car most of the time in Scotland (while eating everything that came in my path deep fried...) I made it a point to find hiking spots along the way.

I Got out of My Comfort Zone

While I'm still a bit shy about walking right up to the squat rack to do some damage at the gym, I've tried to do things that make me feel uncomfortable. First thing: kickboxing. Oh my gosh, that class kicked my butt! And I felt super uncomfortable walking into it and punching the bag...let alone the warm up. But I did it! And while I haven't returned (yet) I know that literally anything is possible if I could survive that class. So next time I feel uncomfortable jogging across the shoreline in Cancun or hitting the hotel gym, I know I'll be able to move past that emotion and just do it.

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I loved My Body

I'm not getting fit because I hate my body, I'm getting fit because I love it! Maybe someday I'll get into some of the body issues I faced growing up, but for now, I just want to encourage you to find one thing to love about yourself. Then slowly you'll see the list growing until self-love just engulfs you.

How to do you keep fit while you're travelling? Let me know in the comments below!

It's Ok to Cry

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Some days I get really sad. Like, Eyore sad; functional and revelling in it. I throw on some Coldplay or Daughter and just have at it. If it's a really bad day, a soundtrack from The O.C. (usually season 2) will score my wailing and weeping. Whether I'm angry at myself or someone else, the situation consumes me. Many acquaintances may read this in shock because I'm naturally a very happy and energetic person when I'm around others. I feed off of their energy and give a lot of my own then I retreat, tired and a bit drained.

All pictures by Bratty B

This post isn't about how to get happy, or peppy when you're knee deep in your tears. Instead, it's about feeling those emotions so that they'll eventually soften into a dull ache that will eventually fade.I learned that it's better to sob yourself to sleep at 3 am in the morning than pretend everything is ok.  When people don't allow themselves to go through the grieving process or feel sad, they get stuck. Anxious about something triggering them into feeling those emotions or remembering whatever situation that caused their grief.

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Wearing: Ecco Soft 7 Slip on shoes, Tyler Madison culottes, Uniqlo turtleneck, Rudsak umbrella, Calvin Klein Stockings

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Someone close to me told me that her mum taught her not to cry. Her emotional constipation left her unable to empathize with others. Her 'suck it up' and 'you're too sensitive' mentality drove a wedge in our relationship, and I confronted her on it. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a constant cry baby. But if I feel something in my heart I'll speak up or react, especially with someone who understands why I feel sensitive towards something.

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Whether it's bawling at a movie or crying while confronting a fairweather friend I let them flow, and that's ok. Because the next day, or a few days later I can let it go and move on.

Do you feel you're able to let go? Or do you bottle it all up? Let me know in the comments below.

Top 2017 Bucket-list Destinations

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I love travelling and it's my mum's fault. I can remember my first time flying at 7 years old. The excitement I felt about taking off  to New York City and how cool I thought I was with my Minnie Mouse luggage. img_4919

All photos Bratty B

I'm currently deliberating where I want to visit next year. The questions I keep asking myself are, 'Do I want to hit the tropics?' 'Should I visit a new city?' 'Is 2017 the year I visit Asia?' Well, keep reading to find out where I want to go in 2017.

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Wearing: Rag & Bone Jeans from Aritzia, Zara Jacket, Banana Republic Purse, Uniqlo Turtle Neck, Urban Outfitter booties, Kate Spade Bow Bracelet

Las Vegas I know, I know, I already went this year! But hear me out. My favourite boy band, Backstreet Boys will have their own residency in Las Vegas. Obviously, your girl has to support and cheer them on. Plus I still have some exploring to do in Vegas. The museums, the desert and restaurants...there's so much more to do that I can't miss out on.

Alaska I like active vacations and I really want to go on a cold vacation. The chance to go dog sledding or snowmobiling really gets me going. So Alaska obviously made it on to my list. Apparently, there are cruises that you can go on to see whales as they migrate. I would probably bawl the entire time. Sign me up!

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Alberta Have you seen the pictures? Someone could post a picture of a garbage can in a field and it would look like a postcard or a painting. It's ridiculous. And I can't wait to get my own shots while marvelling in awe of the gorgeous scenery. I'm getting excited thinking about all of the hiking opportunities.

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Iceland From the lagoon to the black sand beaches, Iceland seems like a world of its own. While there has been an uptake in popularity, Iceland still seems like a cool spot to explore. When I connected to Europe from Iceland I was impressed with the washrooms in the airport alone! Should I write about my WOW Air experience?

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But for now, this little bird is grounded until the travel bug bites me again.  Comment below to let me know where you will or want to be heading in 2017.

What I got for $125 at Uniqlo Canada

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Uniqlo is finally in Canada.

Photocredit: Ryan Emberley

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Photocredit: Ryan Emberley

I attended the Canadian preview event this summer and was impressed with the collection of essential basics in an array of colours. I was super excited when I got the invite to the store opening so I could finally see the space (and shop away).

Like other Japanese franchises, (ie. Muji) Uniqlo is a store of essentials and convenience. When I walked into the press preview I was greeted with sake and a $125 gift card. As I strolled about I understood why members of the public lined up at 4am the next day to get their fill of the store.

Kinda went crazy tonight @UniqloCanada! Check it out tomorrow to snag some deals #UNIQLOCanadapic.twitter.com/B6u85lnAEw

— ELAISHA JADE (@ElaishaJade) September 30, 2016

After taking a gander and making some painful decisions, here's what I left the cash register with!

Thanks for watching and reading! Have you been to the new Uniqlo store yet?

Why I'm not Passive Aggressive Anymore

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[All photos taken by Bratty B]

I was once extremely passive aggressive. My mum (while quiet and unassuming) has an extremely strong personality. While she made an effort to ensure my voice was heard, I also knew my place as her child. No arguments. Her way was the way. I also grew up with very accepting friends until I attended hell on earth or as we call it in Toronto, Middle School.

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That cocktail of an experience meant I had trouble speaking up as a teen because I never had to in my social groups when I was younger. Without siblings or cousins my age to prepare me with tough love to be vocal against bullies, doing the right thing and paving my own path, I was passive aggressive. A quiet vindictive force that got my way or my point across through blatant defiance, not my words.

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Jacket: Stella Nova Pants: LOFT Booties: Urban Outfitters Shirt: GAP Purse: Banana Republic

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Now I'm the complete opposite. I let people know how I feel as clearly as possible if asked or when appropriate. Guys blanch at my rebukes in response to their inappropriate comments. Honest answers roll off of my tongue when questioned about a friend's outfit. And when I don't feel right about something, I don't do it.

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Don't get me wrong, I'm polite as ever but more confident in my ability to speak my mind. It's refreshing.

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Do you feel like you can speak your mind? What do you feel holds you back? Let me know in the comments!

Back to Black

Many people usually take note of my 'colourful' personality. Those bright shades in my attitude and demeanour are usually reflected in my outfits and accessories too.  

However, lately, I've been feeling a little darker. Maybe it's the weather or exam season but I've been a bit more snarky and less bubbly. My fellow YouTuber/Classmate/Fave Person Kevy was able to capture a bit of that darkness for me (PS check out his blog. It's bravely intimate and I'm so proud of it!) with a quick impromptu shoot before we grabbed Shawarma and talked about life.

 

 

 

Jacket: Stella Nova | Boots GAP | Nylons Calvin Klein | Dress Dreamers [similar] | Hardware Ebay Canada

 

 

 

 

Later on that night, I went out to Media Profile's Holiday party with Max where we giggled on The Burroughs' rooftop and gazed over the nighttime skyline. The CN tower was lit in Christmas colours, reminding me that my birthday is just around the corner. Maybe dark-'Laish isn't just a phase...maybe I'm just finally grown up.

 

 

 

Be Prepared

If you're following me on Twitter you might have noticed that I'm running another 10km race this November 1st with Adidas. This unique run takes place at 1am just before the clocks go backwards. So I'm spending my extra 60 minutes this year running with Taylor (our first time running together) in this pretty cool race. The most important thing I learned while training for another race is that you need to be prepared. Below I've listed a few ways that I got ready for this run.

The Right Shoes

What you wear to train really determines the outcome of your session. Whether you feel comfortable in your shoes and clothes is an integral part of your workout. Before the Brooks preview event I went online and used their Shoe Finder. The quiz was updated with detailed questions about my body and what shoes would suit my feet best. Because I pronate and run long distances on the concrete my 'answer' on the quiz was the Adrenaline GTS15. They are solid shoes. They keep my feet in the right position with every step I take and the support reminds me a bit of the orthotic inserts I had as a kid (can you tell I was really cool?)

What you listen to 

While I love me some songs with high bpm I actually listen to slower, melodic music when running. In my last post about running I mentioned that pacing myself was key to me not giving up or feeling like a failure. Since I move at a moderate pace my body doesn't get tired as fast and I can continue for longer distances. Until I hit the final stretch of my run, I blast movie sound tracks with swirling violins and dramatic chord progressions. Or very chill alternative and jazz songs I find on SoundCloud.  I train with my Jabra Sport Pulse bluetooth earbuds. It monitors my distance, heart rate, time, calories burned etc. While the sound quality isn't at Bose level, it pairs well with external apps like Spotify, Soundcloud or just iTunes. It's a really great device I never run without. [Read my full tech review on Tech Analyzer]

What you wear 

Hyba just opened at Eaton's Centre (video to come soon!) and I was super excited to get my hands on these duds. This matching outfit is extremely comfortable. I love the high waist on the pants (#nomuffintop) and how fitted the jacket is. I also like the notes of berry colour throughout the dark coordinates. (I also grabbed another pair of pants that I'm obsessed with from Hyba here. More to come on them soon!). If I don't want my phone flopping around in a pocket I'll usually bring My Tag Alongs pouch. In it I keep money or a debit card, chapstick (dry lips are horrible on a run), my keys and my public transportation pass (just in case). That's how I keep prepared...what about you guys?

*Some products used in this post were provided free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Embrace What you Can't Change

What can't you change in your life that you're fighting? Stop resisting. Embrace it. When the September Heat Wave hit I was pretty upset. It's fall. I wanted turtlenecks and suede, not summer-sweat while mid-TIFF. But I didn't fight it and stubbornly throw on my fall coat. Instead I took a walk through a park wearing my unseasonably sleeveless jumper from Anthropologie's label, Elevenses.  

 

 

There's a lot in life that we can't change. Rather than resisting, make it easier on yourself by facing your problems head on. I'm learning how to brave my 'un-changeable' situations with my chin up and a smile on my face.

*Some products used in this post were provided free of charge, all opinions are my own.

How to look Cool when it's Hot

Can't beat this view or the heat in the desert. Skinny white jeans are essential in the summer to keep cool. The thin material of my shirt was breezy and was thin enough to not be overbearing under the beating sun. My accessories were kept to a golden minimal with just my rose gold aviators and a gold arm bangle. I decided to go barefoot...'cause why not? I like how textured the shirt was to match the harsh desert around me.

Pants Thrifted similar | Shirt Urban Behaviour Streetwear similar  | Bangle EXPRESS similar | Nails Essie California Coral | Sunglasses Forever 21similar

What I Wore: The Queens Plate x Rethink Breast Cancer

tank Vero Moda | pants Vintage | shoes Cole Haan | purse House of Harlow | hat April Cornell | Bracelet EXPRESS

Thanks again to Rethink Breast Cancer for having me as a guest at the annual Queens Plate. I donned the black and white uniform of choice under the Rethink tent. I wholly admit to giving come hither eyes to the servers as they carried poutine and other yummy snacks.

Since the weather was set to be sunny and warm I decided to go with a shirt that no bra permits (a post to come about living on the braless side). Before I gave up trying to see over the crowd of lacy fascinators I was sure to grab some reel for you to check out on my vlog.

See more of my Queens Plate 2015 experience with Rethink Breast Cancer on the next instalment of 'Elaisha Goes...' below: 

Elaisha Goes...to Club Monaco

Turtle necks, plaid and dark earth tones were the notes of Club Monaco's FW15 collection. Charcoals and forest green tones dominated the adorable showroom in their Toronto flagship location on Bloor. The flat colours were quite the contrast in the naturally lit space where some of my favourite bloggers milled-about with me as we stroked the lush cashmere jackets while on a collection tour.

See my favourite pieces below and watch my video to see what to look out for this coming Fall at Club Monaco.

@clubmonaco fw15 is 🔥#CMpresspreview

A photo posted by Elaisha (@elaishajade) on Jun 16, 2015 at 7:44pm PDT

10 Things I Learned While Training for a 10km

This Sunday I will be running the Sporting Life 10km race in benefit of Camp OOCH for children living with cancer.  It is my first race and I only had a few months to prepare for this daunting feat. Here are 10 things I learned while training:

1. Don't try to be the best
If you know you're not in the running (pun intended) for first place then pace yourself diligently and you'll have a more enjoyable run. Your best is what you can do right now: you body differs from day to day and route-to-route. No run is ever the same and whatever you've got right then and there is what you have to work with. Especially as a female my body changes from week to week throughout the month. My iron levels may be low on a run which will slow me down. Take that into account before you beat yourself up over a slower run.

2. What's your run?
I run better with winding streets and steep hills than on a track. I learned that through varying my running locations and trying new routes. When I received a gait assessment from my personal trainer by running on a track for 10km I hated it and it was the worst 10km time that I ran. The lack of variation on the track made me feel like I was back at the gym on a treadmill for 60+ minutes. Not fun.

3. You run what you eat
Growing up in a Canadian-Caribbean household definitely cultivated and nourished my love for eating. However my eating habits were getting excessive and that was affecting my mood and my body. While training for this race while I did eat processed foods if out with friends, I tended to avoid junk-food otherwise. I usually have a vegan protein dense breakfast every morning of low-sugar granola, drown in almond milk and topped with a banana, a sprinkle of raspberries and a dollop of unsweetened peanut butter. I try to eat 90 minutes before I run and restore my electrolytes with a glass of chilled coconut water after I'm finished. My trainer has recommended that I carb load before I hit the race so I've been downing some spuds lately.

4. Track your runs
I use the Jabra Sport Pulse Bluetooth earbuds and App. I reviewed them recently for Tech Analyzer but only recently got use out of them when training for this race. Synched to my phone the earbuds monitor my location, running pace, timing, incline, decline, heart rate etc. This is valuable information affects your run but you're too involved in running to keep track of yourself. You're able to review what spots were harder, where your longest time for a km was and why. Pair  this with getting a personal trainer if you have access to one or doing research by reading as many articles by health professionals on running. This knowledge will boost your runs beyond what you think is possible.

5. What you wear changes how you'll run
Everything I wear when on a run serves a purpose from my headband to my favourite running jacket. My usual go-to running leggings got a bit too loose as I was training. They did not absorb my sweat and I started to chafe which is not fun. New Balance is sponsoring me for this race an their Accelerate Printed Capri in pink and black is now a running staple for me. They fit taught against my skin and the drawstring is a must for pear shaped runners like me (my hips are wider than my waist so it's hard to find pants that will stay up). The Ice Short Sleeve running shirt I will also be rocking is perfect for the warm May weather. The cooling technology will keep my sweat at bay and the Bright Cherry colour is sure to turn some heads. Finally the shoes: I'm obsessed with the Fresh Foam Zantes. I own two pairs. My shoes plushly support the heel and feel light on the toe with every step. They're quite snug for a close fit on race-day and I can't wait.

6. What gets you pumped paced?
What do you listen to that gets your head nodding along to the beat? I create a playlist that is filled with drawn out songs I can pace myself to for a majority of my run instead of blasting faster songs that get me running beyond my comfortable timing. I love movie scores especially by John Williams and old classical songs that I used to play when I was a violinist. As well songs that give me chills and a sense of euphoria and are a little sad...ones that end with a mass choir belting out the chorus (cue cry-running here).

7. Celebrate #LegDay
Squat. Lunge. Lift. You need it. You can't just run to run. You've got to train muscles that running doesn't to pick up speed. Your body needs to be challenged and put to the test so you can come out on top on race day. I got better at running when I attended spin classes and started taking the stairs everywhere (sometimes two at a time simulating a lunge) instead of the escalator.

8. Schedule your runs and workouts
Discipline is not my strong suit. I there are many things I could have and really should have done while training for this race that I skipped. Runs I should have gone on. Leg day. Yoga. That's because I didn't keep a schedule. If I had I would have shaved my time per km down and I wouldn't feel as tempted to overtrain. Overtraining is a killer: it revs you up to race day but really slows and pulls you down. If you train efficiently and effectively your runs will be optimized to the fullest!

Day 9 Day Off: I spent my Day Off getting ready for tomorrow's @sportinglifecan 10km race. A brisk walk, putting a playlist together and writing a blog post reflecting on training {link in profile} got me revved for tomorrow! 🏃#30wtbd

A photo posted by Elaisha (@elaishajade) on May 9, 2015 at 7:17pm PDT

9. Join the community
People love running. It's like a religion for some. The Sporting Life 10km is one of the biggest runs in Toronto and runners across the province flock to Toronto for it. I've been inspired countless times by runners and fitness fanatics on my Instagram feed when reading their inspiring stories or watching their regime. Check out other runners on Instagram by looking at run or fitness related hashtags. Hashtag your runs so other people can find you. Comment on pictures and start a conversation. Join the community.

10. Love to run
I have grown to love the cadence of my steps and the incomparable feeling of success when hitting a goal. I remember feeling like the overweight 8 year old me the first time I went out for a run. My lungs burned and I felt so fatigued and admittedly defeated. I've run off and on for a few years and never set running goals for fear of failure. But now I'm ready to fly.

*Products used in this post were provided free of charge, all opinions are my own.

I can see clearly now...

I used sitting in lecture halls and staring at my computer screen for hours on end as an excuse to finally purchase prescription glasses. Gone are the days when I would shamelessly buy 'fake' glasses at Urban Outfitters. I can wear my spectacles proudly...and now everything doesn't have a fuzzy edge to it. My babies were shipped in from the ultimate in online eyewear shopping, Warby Parker. The drool-worthy selection was hard to choose from (GIVE ME ALL THE GLASSES) but I went along with the Percey's.

  Apparently my choice makes me look like Harry Potter (that was the point, duh!).

Yay for near and far sight.