Why Do You Blog?

Why do you blog? To express your likes and dislikes? Share your passions? Inspire others?

Blogging is such a wonderful medium. I literally do not know where I would be today without it. It has taught me so much, not only about HTML, SEO, but also about photography, lighting, editing, writing, connecting with others, using social media effectively, the list goes on. I know for a fact that without starting a blog, my life would have been way different.

My good friend, Chloe, introduced me to Rosie's blog AKA The Londoner. This sparked my interest in the blogosphere and not too long after, I was inspired to start my own blog just to see where things would go. I didn't really expect to get much out of it. Next thing I know, I was beginning to invest hours and hours into my blog from choosing a blog name, to writing blog posts, and creating a blog layout. Today, my blog is my internet home - my little slice of the internet -  while also being a creative outlet to interact with others world wide with similar interests as myself.

I remember reading a fact somewhere stating if you do not stick with something for three months, chances are you will stop doing it and will not enjoy it. I am often that person who starts something new without finishing or continuing it. When I started my blog, a couple of my friends did too. We were enjoying it because it felt like a home on the internet. Soon after, both my friends stopped blogging before the invisible three months ended which shows that it wasn't really meant for them. I decided to continue blogging and at around six months later, I was impressed with myself for blogging for that long. It's something I never thought would happen.

Well, why do I blog? To inspire people. I know it's so cliche but it's true. One of my friends, Abby, recently told me how she was actually inspired by me in what I do and my dedication to not only my blog, but pursuing my dream. It truly put a smile on my face and motivated me to keep doing what I love and continue to inspire others in any way, shape or form.

Now what I want to know is, why do you blog?

:: Janine Maral

Magazines I Love

As a journalism student, I am a lover of magazines, both hard copy and digital. After blogging, reading magazines and articles is how I enjoy spending my free time. One of my goals in life is to actually create an online magazine of my own one day. Not just a blog that I call an online magazine but an actual well-established website with a team. One day will become some day.
There have been so many recent new magazine discoveries which I have been thoroughly loving. 

Flare Magazine
Flare Magazine has been Canada's go-to fashion magazine for over 30 years. They have great content and articles not only on fashion, but also on beauty and lifestyle topics. I remember Flare being one of the first magazines I started reading and thinking that interning or even possibly working there one day would be a dream come true. 
I love print media, especially magazines but in today's day and age, most things are going digital. I love how Flare also stays active on their social media platforms and on their website, which of course, I always stay up-to-date with. 

A Little Opulent
A Little Opulent is a fairly new online lifestyle magazine created by From Roses (Rebecca) and JennyPurr (Jen). Both co-founders and their team post consistent and well developed content which I thoroughly enjoy catching up on daily. They post a diverse selection of content, anywhere from home & living to culture & beauty. I also love how their website layout is straightforward and simple. 
I literally started reading their online magazine when they newly created it around two-three months ago and instantly fell in love. Most of my personal blog inspiration and motivation comes from ALO. It's remarkable the rate they are growing at while also posting fantastic content.

The Zoe Report
This final online magazine is a recent discovery I have been obsessed with. Rachel Zoe and her team post content on such interesting and helpful topics especially on style and beauty.
Since I am fairly new to this website I don't have much else to say about it but so far, completely in love.

Which magazines have you been loving?

:: Janine Maral


Sunglasses are a nice accessory and a great way to protect your eyes from the scorching sun. Lately, I have been loving my sunglass collection and mixing them up to match with my outfits. Sometimes, I even pull my hair back with a pair of sunglasses making bad hair days look better.

My ultimate favourite place to purchase sunglasses is H&M. They have a great variety for such an affordable price. Also, Forever 21 has an awesome selection as well. Sunglass Hut carries the higher end sunnies which are nice to look at or invest in one day. Raybans are my preferred sunglass brand. I have the original classic polarized aviator but I really want to purchase the either blue mirrored version or green mirrored version. Both are very chic either way.

Speaking of sunglass styles, the aviators are not bad and neither are the circular shaped sunnies. It can be quite difficult finding a circular shape sunglass pair that look great with your face shape. Unfortunately, this style does not suite my face as well as the aviators or rectangular shaped ones.

Which sunglasses do you like best?

:: Janine Maral

The Office Area

My office area is not fully complete yet but I wanted to show you bits and bobs I especially love.

:: Janine Maral

Get Fit Quick

It's summer and everyone wants to look good and toned for this season as lots of skin will be shown. I attempted to put together a fitness plan for both myself as a reminder and for you if you want to try it out to get that summer body. 

P.S. In no way am I a health guru. This is based off of my own interests and knowledge.

Key tips and reminders
Never skip breakfast
Maintain a good balance of protein, fruits, vegetables and whole wheat
Do not eat 2-3 hours before you go to bed
Only drink water
Lay off the unneeded sugars like candy, sugary cereals etc.

I found some great healthy recipes on Pinterest that would be great for snacks! I personally love to munch on little things as I blog.
+ Greek yogurt with berries and granola
+ Greek yogurt with cucumber and a little bit of honey
+ Whole grain bread with peanut butter and banana slices
+ Fun fruit bowl in a melon shell
+ Edemame with a light amount of salt
+ Zucchini pizza bites
+ Apples with a cheese slices
+ Simple cherries

If you do cheat a little, don't fret! It was a mistake. Do not let yourself go for the rest of the day. Workout a little more and keep going strong! Speaking of working out, there are some great fun fitness exercise apps and videos online you can follow along to if you have a little extra time. I enjoy Blogilates on Youtube. Besides those workouts..

Here is the daily simple workout plan:
25 jumping jacks
20 squats
20 crunches
20 leg lifts
15 mountain climbers
5 push ups
1 minute bridge

Lastly, if you want to slim down fast, eliminate gluten from your diet. I believe gluten is found in flour and wheat and if you completely eliminate it from your diet, you will shed off a few pounds. Personally, I still eat gluten but in moderate portions. One of my friends started going gluten free so I went to the food store to check out some gluten free foods and snacks. I found this bag of gluten free popcorn called Boom Chicka Pop. To be honest, a large chunk of the reason why I purchased this was the packaging (blogger problems) but they actually taste very good and are relatively low in calories. I also found gluten free cookies which were delicious! They tasted like normal cookies but were gluten free. Let me warn you though, gluten free anything is pretty pricey.

What are your thoughts on my get fit quick plan? Any tips?

:: Janine Maral

Travel Carry On Packing List

Don't you love the feeling and process of going on a flight? It gives such an exciting feeling no matter where you are going! Often when I travel, my carry on bag is filled to the top and beyond with items I need in order to survive any flight, car ride or train trip. That being said, I am actually leaving today on a vacation trip with my friends. Here's what is in my bag right now.

:: Janine Maral
Photo Source: Google

Good Music and Positive Vibes

The summer season call for one thing in Toronto, countless festivals. The sun is shining, the people are happy and the music is amazing. 

On Saturday July 5th, 2014, I headed to Toronto Urban Roots Festival, TURF for short. Not only was this my first music festival of the season, but also it was my first time attending as media and VIP. When I first heard about the festival, I was very much interested in it. The lineup looked great and the location of the festival was prime. I then thought it would be a great idea to cover TURF on my blog. So, I applied as a media attendee and was confirmed. Excited was an understatement. 

The festival ran all weekend however I only attended the one day. I brought along my friend, Anisha, who was also my photographer for the day. She got some beautiful snapshots, as you can see. 
We entered right as the gates opened at 1P.M., got our wristbands and went in. One thing I immediately noticed were the food trucks and food stands. They had everything from poutine, lemonade, corn on the cob and more. The area was well organized with enough room for people to walk around without being too crowded. 

There were three stages and the distance between each stage were far enough so you couldn’t hear the music from the other stages but a close walking distance. I was mostly by the main stage where I watched the first performance called New Country Rehab. Their genre was country, obviously, with modern touches. I loved how they used a cello as the base, a violin, electric guitar and a small drum set. An interesting combination that sounded well all together. Normally, I am not into indie or country music however I have really been getting into it and thoroughly enjoyed the music played at the festival. 

There were two major bonus points I kept note of at TURF. 1: Charging stations. There were charging stations in main locations with chargers available and suited for almost any device. I love when festivals have these because you can run out of battery fast and finding a wall plug is close to impossible. 2: If you bring a reusable water bottle, you can fill up water for free. We all know how expensive water can be at festivals so this was a major money saver while also being an effective way to save the planet. 

Overall, I enjoyed the festival, even though I only attended one day out of the three. I will hopefully be attending again next year as I loved the music, the location and pretty much everything about it.

:: Janine Maral
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