A hop over the pond: What to pack for 10 days in the UK

Indulge

Vacation Packing 101, or 102 if you consider this the upgrade from my trip this weekend (Cottage Trip)

Hot on the heels of a gorgeous cottage getaway (stay tuned for that), I am packing it up for a vacay to the UK. I’m going with my mum, while my lovely wife stays on the homefront. I managed to pack for 4 days of beach and countryside in a carryon (including all my pregnancy vitamins and meds), so this time, the challenge will be taking all those extras, for more than twice the time away, in a medium sized case and soft-sided carryon. I’m a classic over-packer.

The UK is the perfect not-too-hot, not-too-crowded, great healthcare in case of emergency destination for a pregnant gal on the go. So, as I lay out my look book for the days away, what is the inspiration?

Here you go! For all images, links and credits, check out my Pinterest page, Vacation Lookbook 

Dresses will the the staple of this trip, with some basic black pants (one flowy, one pair of skinny jeans) and two skirts thrown into the mix.

Some hats, a classic bag and comfortable shoes are also making the cut. Simple gold necklaces, a few good bracelets and my wedding ring will be the basics that come along.

Can’t wait to get wheels up… I’ll be posting as I go. Cheerio and see you on the other side!

Ring it in: 2018

Indulge

I love nostalgia. Capturing the moment. Journaling. This site has become sort of a living version of this. I was gifted a supremely awesome new book for 2018: it’s a 5 year journal with a small space for each day of the year, where you can add to each ‘same day’ for the next 5 years in a row. Five years stacked on top of each other with gilded pages; you can scan back and compare at a glance how you were doing on each day. I’m very excited to crack the spine.  Blogger, Danielle at verderamade.com just did a really lovely post about journals, methods and content; check it out!

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I started the Style Sa Vie site years ago to indulge my own creativity: I used to draw a picture of my outfit every day in high school, then technology came along and made it so much easier to bring that into sharp focus. Like choosing my clothes, I don’t write this for other people, that’s not why I started. But here, and on my other blog, where I chronicle my fertility journey with my wife, I get so much back from the kind emails, comments and encouragement of an online community. I sometimes wonder why I do this still. I’m not going to be an Alexa Chung or Aimee Song. But that was never the point. I have a life and a job that I love, and I have a hunch that I will like looking back at a snapshot of what life has been like, whether it’s the year in review, or a decade from now. Style Sa Vie is about the words: Style with a possessive adjective in front of Life. I want to own my life and curate it in a way that I find inspiring. A life of style. A style of living. Life that is mine.

In the spirit of hearkening back and looking ahead, a question: Do you believe in resolutions? For me this year will be about intention- being intentional. I want some guiding phrases, not edicts for a new year.

*Joy – be more joyful, rather than shredding joy with the tools of perfectionism, anxiety or guardedness. I am pretty comfortable with living and embracing vulnerability, but I can definitely get mired down, perseverating on things that just aren’t important. I’m going to Marie Kondo my attitude; does it spark joy? No? Then heave-ho!

*Let Go – This time of the physical stuff: of clutter, of things that no longer serve me. But also the metaphysical stuff: of the idea of perfect, or fears like ‘missing out,’ things taking too long to accomplish, or wondering what the next year will hold. Also, I’m getting rid of the self-judgement. I don’t judge the people I love; why do I do it to myself? I love me. But I should do it better.

*Start Now – this is the moment. Don’t wait for a ‘good time,’ or the ‘right’ time. If I see a repair in the house, go get the tools. If I think about a friend, call that person when it pops into your head. If I want something, what will I do to get it?

* Keep indulging and seeking new experiences. Don’t be complacent. If what I want is to savour a new taste and have another glass of wine. I will. If what I want is to get back to the Ballet Barre… I will do that, too. Also, Be creative. Remember how lucky I am. Celebrate my relationships. Take a deep breath. Don’t be frugal with your love and affection.

*Invest in people who invest in you. And invest in yourself!

*Create routines, but only if they help you reach these goals. I did 365 days of Outfits of the Day last year (which you can find in the style heading), so I can definitely do more mindful writing. Starting today: Journalling.

See you on the other side,

The Style Sa Vie

Take Over Tuesday

Love

Photo cred: @theangelalewis

It’s not new news to me that my wife is a force of nature; but it seems today that everyone else is getting wise to my long-known-n0n-secret. Today, She Does the City is featuring Allia on their Instagram, as she takes over their feed; today, her vlog and article – about coming out, living proud and being at peace with losing part of her past –  go live on Huffington Post Canada. I’m proud of her, understandably. And she is opening up today about her job, her family and what it’s like to live this life.

She Does The City

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If you know her even a fraction as much as I do, it’s impossible not to fall in love with her. Follow her at @buttonsmcleod on Instagram, or check out our baby-making journey right here in WordPress or see her video and article on Huff Post Coming Out As My Father Became A Priest


She’s a light in the dark: Instagram: She Does the City

A Day in the Life – In the snow, from Huffington Post Canada’s headquarters, to after work winding down… here is a peek into her fab life.


9AM: Hey People! I’m Allia McLeod; director, writer, and creative producer with 10 years of experience on my ticket. I’m currently working with Huffington Post Canada, producing their 2017 slate of web series and co-founder of a feminist, lifestyle and humour blog, launching this Summer. Today I’m taking over! Come along on this fantastic ride. Photo cred: @theangelalewis@buttonsmcleod #takeovertuesday


10AM: shedoesthecity At 36, I walked away from a secure, fabulous (as my wife likes to say) job, that wasn’t feeding my creative or activist soul and stepped into the freelance world. This new gig is both scary and exhilarating. Current motto: It’s never too late to do what makes you happy. – @buttonsmcleod#takeovertuesday

MIDDAY: 

3PM THE ARTICLE AND VLOG LAUNCH

4PM BACK TO WORK – on set.  

And by 7PM: WE ARE SO READY TO RECONNECT AND TALK ABOUT OUR DAY OF going to fight a parking ticket (a first for me), my foray into micro-blading, and Allia’s writing debut on HuffPost. Time to cuddle up after making dinner together. 

Fit Girl Challenge: Day 2

Foodie

Day 1 was a breeze. We really enjoyed preparing and eating the delicious meals. Breakfast was cherry oatmeal with yogurt and chia. We had a snack. I felt satisfied and full. Lunch was a tremendously yummy roast veggie, hummus and grilled chicken.

Roasted vegetables with herbs from the garden.

Roasted vegetables with herbs from the garden. We prepared enough for several meals for the two of us.

Very satisfying and lots of variety in our lunchtime meal. We opted to skip the rice and used up some potatoes we had in the house.

Very satisfying and lots of variety in our lunchtime meal. We opted to skip the rice and used up some potatoes we had in the house. Steamed kale with garlic, roasted potato, sweet potato, zucchini, green pepper, grilled chicken and hummus. 

Plate clean and hunger sated. Water in hand. I think we are on to something good!

Plate clean and hunger sated. Water in hand. I think we are on to something good!

For dinner we had avocado and sweet potato corn tortillas with mozzarella and salsa. Best tips, eat slowly. Chew. Chew. Chew. And drink lots of water.

Fit Girl Challenge: Day 1

Foodie

Fit Girl Challenge, as proposed, starts today. Key ideas: get serious, and enjoy the process.

I have drank about two liters of water (I’m ahead of the game). The cherry oatmeal and yogurt parfait with chia seeds that I had for breakfast was SERIOUSLY delicious. If things are this yummy, I think I will be happy to stay focused.

Biggest challenge that I foresee? 2 servings of alcohol … per week.

Fit Girl Challenge: A Mediterranean Vacation Inspires a Summer Overhaul

Foodie

Fresh off the plane from a week-long Greek island vacation, so many stories to tell. More on that later, though. Allia and I are embarking on a new journey, a new challenge: Fit Girl. Three months of lifestyle, diet and exercise inspiration. We are going to try it, full-tilt, and see what kind of results we get. We are inspired.

We had a beautiful time on our vacation (more on that later). But, we are two girls who don’t like to say no – to baklava, to wine, to second helpings, to walking up moonlit cobblestone streets, to streetside vendors and to jumping in the ocean. We are looking for a plan and some balance. Right now we eat great food, with excellent ingredients and great taste, but with little mind to conscious portioning and calories. I never met a gelato I didn’t like.

Ready to hit the grocery store, fridge empty since we just got back from Greece. Let's do this!

Ready to hit the grocery store, fridge empty since we just got back from Greece. Let’s do this!

I’ve never considered myself to be a ‘skinny’ girl. Except in my tween years, when I ate whatever I wanted and danced 14 hours a week, played sports and did theatre after school. I was overscheduled and had the metabolism of a teeny bopper. So, given that lots has changed, I’ve broadened my horizons (and the horizon of my hips is now broad enough). I know more than most about proper diet and exercise. I have all the tools to get into great shape; I’ve never really believed, however, that the body I could have and the shape I could get into would truly be worth the sacrifices I’d have to make to get there.

Apparently, we'll look like this!

Apparently, we’ll look like this!

Without sacrificing pleasure and taste, we are pumped up to get into our best adult shape yet. We signed on for Fit Girl’s Guide- The Girly-Girl’s Guide to Getting Fit ( https://fitgirlsguide.com/ ). The program is a PDF you purchase and it’s recommended that you try it with a friend. Community and a goal. I love it already. Stay tuned for success (and hurdle) updates. Here is a picture of our first week’s groceries, approximately $120 (Canadian) for two people and we still need to head to the organic butcher to get some chicken.

A moderately full cart. Mostly greens and whole grains. Lots of re-usable shopping bags.

A moderately full cart. Mostly greens and whole grains. Lots of re-usable shopping bags.

Whole wheat pita, corn tortillas, brown rice, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, tomato, green peppers, apple, strawberries, zucchini, sweet potato, olives, sundried tomato, artichoke, olives, dark chocolate, cooking spray, Greek yogurt, eggs, goat cheese ... we are ready.

Whole wheat pita, corn tortillas, brown rice, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, tomato, green peppers, apple, strawberries, zucchini, sweet potato, olives, sundried tomato, artichoke, olives, dark chocolate, cooking spray, Greek yogurt, eggs, goat cheese, sea salt, smoked salmon (a few of our own faves)… we are ready.

We are starting with the July 6th Group Challenge:

The FIT GIRLS program includes …
* 40 all new recipes
* 400 calories and under
* Fit Girl Desserts
* Meal Planning charts
* Tips for weekly Meal Prepping and grocery lists
* Substitution lists
* Vegan, vegetarian & gluten-free options!”