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I tend to be an early adopter when it comes to technology. If something maximizes my convenience, lets me skip the lineup or is an innovation that is simply way cool… I want to be the first to know.
And that’s why Soundpays caught my eyes and ears.
It’s a mobile wallet app that… WAIT FOR IT…
Transmits product purchase information (using inaudible sound waves) to your smartphone so you can make purchases directly from ads you see on TV, online or from a digital sign!
I’ve got all this fancy sh!t but it wasn’t the “things” themselves that sparked joy… it was more about knowing that ‘I CAN’.
I’m exactly where I want to be right now. Today. Looking back at the bucket list I curated for my 25 year old self, my goals revolved around my career in the rat race and dining at Michelin Star restaurants. A luxury downtown condo and import cars defined success. Don’t judge! I was part of that 80’s MTV generation. I wanted to live in multiple cities and have a passport filled with stamps from exotic destinations.
All before 40… so I could retire by 43! What I realize though, after checking all these things off, it was more to prove that if I could dream it, I could ‘real life’ it.
So it’s my birthday month and I’m married to my best friend and I’m a Momma to a darling curious rambunctious boy. And I guess I am semi-retired because I co-founded an ad agency, have this blog and love what I do. Older yet wiser, happy, healthy, grateful and feeling comfortable in my own skin. All the things that really matter. Now I’m going to go eat a $7 bowl of pho in my $65 dress to celebrate! ☺️🎂
When it comes to beauty in the summer, less is definitely more. I like to keep my routine quick and simple. Here are my favourite products to help you get through the sun and heat…
Argan Brightening Facial Scrub
Acure Organics is one of my favourite beauty brands. For the past four years, I’ve been using their facial wash, toner and this fabulous scrub (twice a week) to get a deep cleansing experience like I would at a fancy spa. The scrub has just the right amount of grainy texture so you can feel it working on your face but it’s still gentle enough that sensitive skin doesn’t feel tight or dried out. ($18)
Burt’s Bee Facial Towelettes
I always have these wet towelettes stashed in my purse so I could remove makeup and excess oil lickety split. The Peach and Willow Bark version exfoliates (bonus!) and smells absolutely delicious. They comes in a pack of 30 and are a beauty must-have at home and on the go. ($10)
Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant
I love the Lavanila product line because they use natural ingredients and are bursting with beautiful scents like vanilla, lemon, coconut and grapefruit. This deodorant contains no aluminum, paraben or propylene glycol and doesn’t leave yellow pit marks on your white shirts. The only downside is it doesn’t stop sweat completely so if you are really active, you will need to reapply the deodorant to ensure maximum odour protection. ($17) Also comes in a travel size. ($11)
WHISTLE is a social fitness app designed to help users connect with local fitness enthusiasts looking for a workout buddy. Think let’s #SweatTogether! In between squats we got a chance to catchup with the Founder + Girl Boss, Laura Davidson about her fitness routine, working for Mr. Wonderful – Kevin O’Leary and her fave hangout spots in the 6ix…
What’s a day in the life of Laura Davidson like?
Every morning begins around 7am with a healthy breakfast – usually a protein shake packed with anything/everything. They are quick, which is important for me as my days are non-stop. Once I’m up, I get myself together, take the dog for a walk, and head off to my 9-5. I always fit a workout in during my lunch hour. Whether that’s a 5-7km run or a weight lifting session at the gym, it all goes down during lunch. I eat a meal back at my desk and continue with the work day. I schedule calls over meetings whenever I can to allow more flexibility in my schedule, and I work on WHISTLE throughout the evening.
Occasionally, I will attend a group fitness class after work or have dinner with a friend or family member. I meal prep on Sunday or Monday so lunch and dinner are ready for the week and there is no cooking or grocery shopping to get in the way. I finish off the day with another dog walk and am usually in bed by 10pm. Time management is very important for a successful day and I always make sure I get enough sleep to recharge for tomorrow.
Tell us about the WHISTLE App.
WHISTLE is a social fitness app that connects people looking for a workout partner. Think Tinder, for fitness buddies. Through a selection of personal filters, including activity and time of day, users match with one another by swiping left or right on other people’s profiles with similar interests. Once a match is created, the users can communicate in the chat portion of the app, create group chats, and schedule calendar meet ups for their workouts.
I’ve had my eye on these TOMS pint-sized shoes for years and now that I have a little munchkin of my own, I can finally pickup a pair or two for him!
I own a pair of Grey Canvas Classics that I religiously wore throughout my pregnancy and now I sport a black pair as I run around the city chasing after my toddler. I don’t recall much of a choice beyond crochet, glitters and a few fun print patterns so when I saw the variety for kids at a media preview, I was blown away!
Of course little misses have double the selection – including cute strappy sandals in cheery contrasting colours. As for the little boy explorers, how adorable are these high tops?!
I recently eavesdropped on the most fascinating conversation! A group of four millennials (3 ladies + 1 gent) at the table next to me spilled out all the #NoGutsNoGlory of their social life.
Now I’m not referring to the latest hipster joint they hang out at or the usual Tinder gossip but I’m talking about their life on social media.
Even though I had my laptop out pretending to work, I clearly was wayyyy too entertained for someone looking at Google Analytics. So I gave in and chimed into the conversation, eventually letting them know I was a blogger and shyly asked if it was ok to turn their conversation into a juicy blog post haha.
They got really excited to confess the downright sleazy extremes they and their friends go through all for the sake of Insta!
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at some of these…
- I walk into fancy restaurants and hotels that I can’t afford but no one has to know as long as I can ‘check-in’ and snap photos, then I walk right back out. (She shows me her recent photos. Beautiful interior shots of the lobby lounge at Shangri-La Hotel and a selfie at d|bar.)
- I’m a beauty influencer from Vancouver and have 21k followers. Of which 40% I bought but cosmetic brands still send freebies and hire me to create makeup tutorial videos.
- Every Monday I plan out a whole schedule of what I’m going to eat and where because I’m a foodie and my job is to make people drool. I rarely eat out anywhere that is not #foodporn worthy!
What’s a day in the life of Michelle Laratta like?
Get woken up by my 5 year old boss at 6:15am already in mid-story about something transformers-y or in mid-debate about why he’s not allowed to watch Alien vs. Predator… Convince child that he has to eat food, go to school, and stay away from girls till he finds one big enough to kick my ass… every… day… Bring child against will to school and put on a comedy show for the 6 or 7 early kindergarteners there. Get enough laughs to earn my right to leave them there while I venture off to “work”. Tough crowd. They seem really concerned about what I do and how I live my life…
Teach Zumba. Whaaat?!?!
Yes. Hit the gym and crash a zumba class, shaking up the pace as a guest instructor who gets to push the class to the edge with hard hitting soca music, high energy and laughs. It is random and fun and keeps me alive.
Return home to shower and cut tons of cardboard, then mould, scrunch and hot glue shapes into skeleton like structures for the piñatas of the day. I just finished 3 huge watermelons for an ad campaign, a 42 inch NFL football player and am starting on a CN tower. Build, cut, build more, burn myself with hot glue gun… every… day…
Disappear for a few hours for adventures with bae while picking up supplies like broom sticks, felt, foam, crepe paper and soooooo much glue.
It’s March Break so I’m going to be unplugging for the next little while to spend time with my family. But I’ll still be snapping pics on Instagram! We are meeting up in Banff & Jasper for a ski vacation and then spending a few days in Edmonton. Before I board my flight, I’m going to leave you with something important to think about…
Try not to get caught up in filters, #fomo, competition or other people’s expectations of how you should live. Seriously when was the last time you were true to yourself?!
For me it was when I did a friends detox at the beginning of the year. I still travel to (and love) the US even after close friend’s have tried convincing me to go elsewhere until Trump is out. I don’t have a selfie wearing a pussy hat while marching in a feminist parade (I didn’t even go and I actually don’t like that word “feminist” altogether) but that doesn’t make me less supportive of equal gender rights. I don’t get embarrassed anymore when I’m seen with a Dollarama bag ha! And while it looked like I had it all together, I admit I had mega issues with the work-life balance thing so I left my job and now I’m a SAHM that does consulting on the side. Oh and I stopped using filters all together so what you see on my social feed is what you get… skinny fat and all (but I’m working on it)! 🙂
Amira and I go way back. Rewind to 2010 when we used to meet over coffees + cocktails to talk about boys and dream about starting our own businesses. She’s become my little sister and it’s been incredible watching her grow in her career and life. Always putting on a brave face and big smile, she may be little but expect big things from her! Meet Amira de Vera, #GirlBoss and (drumroll…) Founder of Project Four PR.
What’s a day in the life of Amira de Vera like?
This is a bit of a cliché PR answer but no days are really typical for me. I have some days where I am sitting at my desk from 9am till late at night working and then there are some days where I am running from meeting to meeting or accompanying clients to a media interview or photo shoot. One thing that you can find typical and consistent about my daily routine is that I like to insert a one-hour workout in there, regardless of how busy I am. I always, always make time to work out!
You have been talking about starting your own agency since we met and you finally did it. Congrats! Tell us about Project Four PR.
I know! It’s so crazy to think that what I merely dreamed about is now an actual reality!!
Project Four PR is a Sports and Entertainment Public Relations and Management Firm representing some of the country’s top talents in the film, television, sports, music and lifestyle industries. We specialize in personal publicity and management services which includes media relations, brand endorsements, charitable partnerships, red carpet attendance, and digital strategies. Essentially, we turn people into household names.
I have always been passionate about the entertainment and sports industry, particularly in the talents that make it up. Personal publicity always came natural to me and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your clients blossom and grow into their career. Watching other people live their dream and accomplish their highest vision is why I do what I do.
I need answers. And I need them now!
Big shifts are coming for our family + business. All of which I don’t have answers ‘yet’ so trying not to be a control freak of my own destiny. Trust the process, allow the universe to do its thing and time will unveil… repeat mantra!
Uncertainty. A far cry from the 10 year masterplan I mapped out for myself in my twenties. All of which mostly did not come true ha.
I never married my high school sweetheart and moved to Manhattan. But I did meet a man that better compliments and challenges me, one who makes me laugh and love harder than I’ve ever known. And we did briefly live in NYC. And Vancouver. And San Francisco.
I didn’t have two kids by 35. But I did give birth to a darling baby boy at 35.
I got that corporate marketing job I loved but ended up ditching the rat race after ‘accidentally’ starting my own business and blog. I never thought I would actually get paid to eat food, travel and write spa reviews!
As you can see lots of curve balls were thrown at me in the last decade. Some balls I managed to catch and others I chose to swerve. Some I even dropped. Having a solid plan did not make things certain. But it all turned out okay and even better!
And that’s the thing with uncertainty. It gives us the chance to think about what we really want – not what we think we need. (Think about that one because there is a big difference.)
It forces us to live in the moment. No matter how uncomfortable. Because the present is the only thing that is certain.
It encourages us to let go of things, memories and people that create a false sense of energy.