Fresh Pins: What we’re loving on Pinterest right now

By now there are few people who haven’t discovered the addictive nature of the fastest growing social network around: PINTEREST. You can spend hours and hours browsing and drooling and pinning an repinning and getting inspired. I must admit, I feel pretty darn lucky to get to surf this site as a part of my job!

Be sure to follow Fresh Collective on Pinterest – we love collecting DIY projects, yummy (and often healthy) recipes, must-read books, beautiful photography and beauty ideas!

Check out some of the most recent pins that caught our eye:

Who are you on Pinterest? We’d love to follow you too!

xo – A

The Swagger Coach: Jamie’s Top 5 Ways to Feel Great in a Jiffy!

Jamie’s Top Five Ways to Feel Great in a Jiffy!

Its Holiday time, folks. Now, while many associate that word with sunny beaches, elaborate cocktails and extra-tanned cabana boys, we know that here in Toronto it means break-neck shopping strategies, endless days of errands and a whopping average of 4 hours of sleep per night. Yuck. Here are a few easy-squeezy ideas to add some sunshine to your day by brightening your mood and letting that light shine on those around you. Don’t be a Grinch! (And don’t tie a branch to your poor little dog’s head, either.)

1) Pick Yourself Up

Great posture conveys power, confidence, and class. It also conveys the fact that you know that no one looks good when they slouch like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Proper posture has always been seen as a highly desirable trait, and is often seen as the best way to “lose 5 pounds in 10 seconds” much to the credit of Woman’s World Magazine (I still love those things, they teach you to make cupcakes resembling every animal of the forest/farm). Take a deep breath. Imagine a string tied to the top of your head, and it gradually being pulled upwards. Stand tall, be comfortable and smile!

2) Splurge Wisely – So you’ve been lusting after that pair of Jeffrey Campbell boots, but you’re “being responsible” with your hard-earned pay cheque, so you shop around for a budget-friendly knock-off. You’ve had your eye on an awesome new bike, yet you settle for a less-inspiring model with a weird paint job and remnants of streamers dangling from the handlebars. Having your sights set on a particular prize and getting anything other than that coveted item seems like a disappointment. We don’t truly experience the same satisfaction we would have, had we just indulged. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we all throw caution to the wind and toss our life savings into a Mayan-calendar-world’s-ending-shopping-jamboree, but there’s something to be said for allowing yourself a reward for accomplishments, good performance at work, or simply because you haven’t treated yourself in a while. Go on, order the boots.

3) Take Inventory

We all have stresses and reasons to be frustrated angry, sad, self-righteous. My instant cure for the blues is to literally take notes on all of the positives in our lives. Use Post-its, or that coloured note app thing you downloaded and were POSITIVE you’d use (the one you deleted Zombie Booth to make room for), just note down things like your awesome roommate who buys you every pug mug she sees, your wicked job which not only pays the bills but is helping you achieve your dream career by taking a chance on you, or having a great relationship with your parent, sibling, or family member. Small, irritating things are pretty easy to forget once you sit back and take a look. Now, think about one of those things and devote the next hour expressing your appreciation for it. This could be writing a mid-day pick-me-up to a pal, or spending a full, uninterrupted hour in the book nook you built yourself, you crafty little minx. Be thankful for what securities and luxuries we’re fortunate enough to call ours, and let that great energy move forward.

4) Wiggle – Yeah, that’s pretty much it. My personal recipe is finding some awesome music (Led Zeppelin? Lenka? Whatever your tastes are, I’ll trust you can make this decision independently) and just kind of prance around. Not fully-choreographed routines, which require thought and effort and a trace of dignity. Nor a Tom Cruise shirt-undies-socks revival either, because apartments in Toronto aren’t that big, and if you slide that far, you’ll be in the kitchen of the guy who lives across from you. Hey new friend. Loosening up and enjoying your favorite song not only increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, and gives you a whole three and a half minutes of music, but has been proven to improve your mood on blue days. Its a simple, silly task, but it offers a big payoff!

5) Set a Goal – Closet needs purging? Kitchen needs an overhaul? Pile of paperwork? Create an action plan to tackle the hurdle. The task itself seems daunting, but once broken down into smaller bits, its not so bad. “Cleaning room” can be broken down into “Pick up trash, sort laundry, hang/store clean stuff, organize accessories, match shoes”. Tackling individual areas gives you a greater sense of accomplishment than trying to organize several items at once, which most often results in one cean corner, and three corners slightly more cluttered than they were when you started. Plan your attack, stock up on what you need (None of that “But I dont have _____.”) and follow through. Productivity is infectious. Its also great inspiration for more projects. You know what else is inspiration? Seeing your bff’s place all dolled up and realizing that yours looks like something from a TLC reality show on people with hoarding habits. That usually works if you aren’t the action-plan-making type.

I encourage each of you to pick one (or a few) of these to try today, and over the weekend. Why? Because we could all use a little pick-me-up! Send this to your overworked co-worker who can be heard sighing with every pile of paper put on her desk, send it to your awesome partner who’s been running your holiday errands on their day off, or to your best friend with the three kids and outstanding ability to keep calm under pressure. They’ll feel just a little more cheery, and I know you will too!


Supporting Movember in style with Curious Oddities!

We’re halfway through my favourite month of the year! Our moustachioed man-friend Joe is growing it in nice and thick (doesn’t he look handsome?)

Joe’s MO has already raised $130 for the very worthy cause of men’s health, and now designer Kat Shura of Curious Oddities is lending a hand to support!

As of today, we have AMAZING Curious Oddities Movember jewellery! These adorable pieces featuring various moustache styles set against different background colours and patterns are not only stylish and fun, but will have you feeling darn good about yourself. Why? Because $3 from every sale of a Movember piece will go directly to Movember! 

These pieces are currently in-store at Queen St and Roncesvalles and are making their way to Kensington as we speak! You’ll walk out with a brand new MO and the knowledge that you helped change the face of Men’s health! WIN WIN!

Can’t make into store today? You can still contribute by donating to Joe’s Mo HERE.


Loving the Ones You’re With

Today on Facebook I saw a very sad post from Peter Gabriel. It seems he lost his father on Friday and he shared this video of the beautiful song he’d written for him.

Now this really hit me. Not only because Peter Gabriel is one of my favourite humans, but because he is also a very big part of my relationship with my Father (as you can see in this post from September).

This past weekend I spent a lot of time reflecting on the importance of relationships in my life. Relationships with friends, relationships with family, relationships with co-workers and even with strangers.

My amazing, sweet and nurturing Mom and Dad with their brand new handful.

These relationships are really the best thing we have, and it’s so important to cherish and nurture them. This weekend I reconnected with a brother I have barely spoken to in the last 10 years, I had a repairing talk with my little sister and apologized for being self righteous with her, I thanked my parents for being wonderful and loving and always looking out for me while letting me be who I wanted.

My brother Ben and sister Katie – Two super awesome humans!

These conversations were nothing but giving credit where credit is due, but the result was ultimately so rewarding. I now have the opportunity to have wonderful new relationships wtih my family.

Giving the people in your life the gift of a thank you ends up making both them and YOU feel like a million bucks.

I encourage you to reach out to a loved one in your life today. Give someone a hug, tell someone how awesome they are – it’s the greatest gift you can give them – and yourself.

xo – Allison


Inspired Words for Joyful Living

At Fresh Collective, our mission statement is this:
“To inspire joyful living and self expression, one relationship at a time.”
This is something we are very passionate about and committed to. 

Inspired by this, I went straight for the online inspiration hub itself, Pinterest, and created a “Joyful Living” board to fill with quotes and phrases that embody this very idea. I thought I’d share a few of them here with you and encourage you to share them with your friends and followers! We’d love to hear your favourite inspirational quotes – sound off in the comments below or Tweet them to us at @FreshCollective

For more inspired words and images, check out Fresh Collective on Pinterest