Monday 18 February 2019

Surprise! I'm Pregnant

For the past three and a half months, I've been keeping a pretty big secret: I'm pregnant!

Even typing the words out still feels surreal to me. Both Brian and I are so excited, a little bit in disbelief and slightly terrified. I always knew that this day would come eventually, even though it seemed like it would never get here - especially if you were to ask our parents, haha! It's no doubt that Brian and I took our sweet time in getting to this point; both in our thirties, after being married for over five years. Although they say that you're never quite ready to make the leap to have children, in the past year I've been feeling closer and closer to getting to that point.

So now the news is officially out! If you had noticed a slow-down in both my blog and video content, being pregnant is 100% why. While I've had a pretty good pregnancy physically to date (KNOCKING ON ALL THE WOOD,) where I've been struggling the most has been mentally - specifically with bouts of anxiety that seemingly come out of nowhere and for no real reason. Thankfully now that I'm in my second trimester my hormones seemed to have adjusted and I've been feeling so much better overall. More about all of this in another blog post. I plan on doing a full first-trimester recap all about my symptoms to date, how long it took us to conceive, why we waited so long to start trying - all of that good stuff.

Until then, I'll leave you with our good news while I go raid the fridge for anything and everything carb-y and sweet.

Thank you so much for being here throughout the years - I'm so excited and relieved to finally be able to share this news with you! I look forward to sharing more of the journey, and how everything evolves in the months and years to come.

xo Joëlle

Thursday 14 February 2019

My Top Winter Fashion Essentials

Who else has felt personally victimized by winter this year? *Raises Hand.*

While Toronto is not known for it's brutal winters, this year in particular has been a doozy. From freezing cold temperatures, snow that shuts downt the entire city and crazy ice, winter for 2019 is no joke.

Because of the crazy weather, I decided to film a video all about my winter essentials; how I stay warm while [trying to] look cute in the freezing temperatures! I talk all about my favouorite parka for the season, favourite boots, and my go-to outfits that have been on heavy rotation for winter.

Have a watch and let me know what you think!


Sunday 10 February 2019

How Do You Want To Feel: A Meeting With Dr. Mauricio De Maio

This post was sponsored by Allergan. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own

If you've been reading my blog over the course of the last few months, you will have noticed a post where I honestly chat about my experience with plastic surgery and following that post a sparked interest in the world of cosmetic enhancements. I just find this topic to be so interesting! Trying to alleviate some of the stigma that surrounds this industry, I've made it my quest not only to educate myself on the matter, but to also share what I find with you guys.

Enter Dr. Mauricio de Maio. I was turned onto the work of Dr. de Maio by learning about MD Codes™, his philosophy when it comes to cosmetic enhancement and injections - focusing on how an individual would like to feel, rather than specific areas of concern that bother them. Interesting, right? Luckily for me I was able to sit down and chat with Dr. de Maio about his interesting approach to cosmetic injectables, as well as hear about his innovative practice and work.

Dr. Mauricio de Maio is an internationally, world-renowned facial aesthetics expert based in Brazil who has pioneered an innovative way of treating the signs of aging and giving women incredible skin. His practice (called MD Codes™) differs from others in that he first asks individuals how they want to feel to develop a customized plan. So, rather than address certain areas that individuals may want to alter or correct, Dr. de Maio asks a series of questions to help better understand the overall goal that you're hoping to achieve.

When I first met with Dr. de Maio at the beautiful Hotel X in downtown Toronto, I was excited to hear more about his practice. I myself had never considered developing a plan for my skin and overall appearance; my personal experience with cosmetic enhancements always involved being treated for specific areas of my face and body that bothered me - never focusing on a big-picture goal. As I explained this to Dr. de Maio, he listened attentively and asked a simple question when I was finished: "but what if you were to place your trust in me, an expert. Imagine your results." It seemed so simple. We then went on to discuss the practice that he has developed and is now teaching to thousands of dermatologists in Canada alone.

There's a series of questions that Dr. de Maio asks all of his patients, called the powerful 8. These questions not only serve to help patients to start thinking more long-term, and big-picture about their skin and their appearance, but it also helps your doctor to develop a specific plan to really target the underlying concerns of the individual and produce results that are much more satisfying.

Sound confusing? It's not, and I'll use myself as an example. I'm in my thirties and although I am very content with my age and know that aging is a privilege not allotted to everyone, there are certain areas of my skin that are starting to show my age. Some wrinkles that weren't there before, some sagging, etc. Coupled with my hereditary dark circles, there's definitely specific areas that I would want to address. Instead of discussing these concerns with Dr. de Maio, he asked me to take a look at myself and choose 3 of the 8 emotionally driven attributes of beauty that I would want to address. Rather than focus on the areas of my skin that bothered me, I tried to think more big-picture: ultimately, I wanted to look less tired, less angry and more attractive.

"Excellent" said Dr. de Maio after I told him my three choices. No judgement, no pointing out other options to have considered, just an acceptance of my concerns for myself and the beginning of a plan. Dr. de Maio explained that I had actually chosen 2 realities and one dream. Looking less tired and less angry are realistic goals to set for oneself, and completely within the realm of possibility when working with a doctor. This tells Dr. de Maio that my goals for my appearance are realistic and have a high probability of satisfaction. Looking more attractive is classified as a dream and is completely subjective from one person to the next. Should this have been my main concern, it may be a little trickier to achieve satisfaction with results and we would have needed to discuss further, to shift my mindset to be a little more realistic. When we're realistic with results, we often have the highest probability of satisfaction. And after all, as Dr. de Maio reminded me, should we address my realistic concerns or looking less tired and less angry, I in-turn will feel more attractive.

Because ultimately using Dr. de Maio's approach we're focusing on feelings first, considering a full-face rather than focuses on specific areas of concern and placing individual satisfaction at the forefront of a treatment plan. With research showing that more Canadian women want to work to enhance their look not for social acceptance, not for anyone else, but because it makes them feel more confident it's time to start changing our perception. 

Not only is it essential to remove the stigma surrounding cosmetic enhancement so individuals can start feeling comfortable to ask questions, but a shift is needed where facial aesthetic physicians across the country change the way they ask questions to achieve the best results. After chatting with Dr. de Maio, I agree with his philosophy that we need to shift our focus away from the lines on our face, or sagging skin and instead place trust in our chosen facial aesthetic physician and have how we want to feel as the ultimate goal.

I feel like my perception towards skincare, aging and cosmetic enhancement has totally changed after chatting with Dr. Mauricio de Maio. Specific aesthetics aside, don't we all just want to feel like a more confident version of ourselves? I know that I do!

What do you guys think? I'm so interested to know if this has changed your perspective on skincare and anti-aging as much as it's done for me. Let me know!

xo Joëlle


Wednesday 6 February 2019

Beauty Curious: Cosmetic Enhancement Q&A

This post was sponsored by Allergan. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own

Let's talk about the c-word: Cosmetic Injectables, that is. After baring my soul in a previous blog post all about my relationship with plastic surgery, how I opted to have a pretty dramatic elective surgery done on my face and my experience with judgement afterwards, I had an overwhelming response from you guys. Let me just stop to say that I am so eternally grateful for the support that I continue to receive from you, and the conversations we create together - I don't take it for granted.

With the conversations generated from that post, I realized that there is still a lot of curiosity around the industry of cosmetic enhancements. With the rise of celebrity influencers famously enhancing their features with the help of their plastic surgeons, the industry of cosmetic enhancement seems to be more prevalent than ever. And yet, there's still a stigma that surrounds elective enhancements; an industry on the rise and yet a secrecy among those who partake and those who are simply looking for more information.

In an effort to alleviate some of the stigma surrounding cosmetic enhancements, making people more comfortable seeking out information and making informed choices, I was lucky enough to meet with Dr. Lisa Kellett to get some questions answered regarding the world of cosmetic enhancements and injectables.

Dr. Lisa Kellett is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, a Diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology, a member of the Canadian Dermatology Association, the Canadian Laser Aesthetic Surgery Society, and the Toronto Dermatological Society. Dr. Kellett has a unique approach to cosmetic enhancements and skincare by developing and supervising individualized, specialized treatment regimens for each patient in a way that puts even the most anxious patients at ease. You may also recognize Dr. Kellett from the numerous media outlets that she shares her expert advice on - when we first met, I recognized her immediately from The Marilyn Denis Show! Dr. Kellett's vast knowledge in the cosmetic and skincare industry, as well as her friendly demeanor have a way of putting patients at ease, and I certainly felt this when we met on a brisk Fall afternoon.

I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Dr. Kellett in the gorgeous DLK on Avenue, a state-of-the-art skincare facility located in beautiful Yorkville. After being offered water, I was promptly whisked away by DLK on Avenue's manager George and graciously offered a seat in a private waiting area to speak with Dr. Kellett. I was armed with questions relating to cosmetic enhancements; a number of my own, and those that I had collected with I had asked about questions through my Instagram story.

Our conversation started much like a typical consultation for treatment would begin for cosmetic enhancements and skincare options. Dr. Kellett went through my intake form, and made sure to get an overall idea of my general health before proceeding with the consultation. Health, after all, does come into play when considering any sort of cosmetic enhancements - it is your body. I noticed as we continued our conversation into my own goals for my overall appearance, Dr. Kellett steered the conversation to ask questions based around how I would like to feel - less tired, fresher, more youthful- not just any insecurities that I would like to address. This helps to place my trust in my doctor, so that they can work with their expertise to help me achieve my overall goals in the consultation. And of course I had to ask before beginning my interview if any procedure I was interested in would make me look like a different person.  This is where Dr. Kellett's philosophy and work differ from traditional injectables:  "It should be imperceptible - you should just look a lot fresher. If it's done well, nobody will be able to tell where I injected."

Here's a selection of frequently asked questions relating to cosmetic enhancements, injectables and skincare with Dr. Lisa Kellett's expert answers.

How long do wrinkle reducing fillers last? What happens to wrinkle reducing filler after it's run it's course in your body? 

Wrinkle reducing fillers lasts between 3 and 4 months. It's broken down in your muscular junction and it's metabolized there. It's just gone after it's run its course.

What about other fillers? What are Juvederm fillers for, how long do dermal fillers last, and what happens once it's run it's course in your body?

Juvederm fillers are completely different. They are hyaluronic acids. The hyaluronic acids that are in fillers are synthetic versions of the hyaluronic acids that are naturally found in your skin already. That's why it integrates so well in your tissue, since you already have the same substance in your body - you make it there. We actually know that the simple action of injecting hyaluronic acid will stimulate your own collagen. If you look at a before-and-after photo after all fillers have dissipated, you will be better off than if you had done nothing because you start to produce your own collagen. It's very interesting!

In your experience, to achieve the best results, what sorts of questions should individuals ask injectors? Should people be area-specific, or should they discuss what their overall goals are?

I would start with overall goals because oftentimes individuals come in for consultations and don't know what they need. They know what they see in the mirror, they know that they might look tired or that they want to be more refreshed, or that they have some fine lines. They often don't know how to get there, how to achieve a look that addresses their main concerns. So when an individual expresses their overall goals for what they want to achieve, but then mention a specific area of concern, that may not address their overall goal. I like to find out what bothers people the most first, and go from there. Start with people's chief area of concern, what brings them into the office - but then have a plan to achieve their overall goal.

Is facial reconstruction possible with injectables? Specifically reconstructing a jaw.

I will actually inject into the jaw to lift. As we age, we can lose the structure in our jawline. To fix this, I have to enhance an individual’s jawline laterally to lift. So the answer is yes, you can certainly do that.

 What about building a weak chin? Is this achievable through injectables?

Absolutely. Instead of doing a physical implant like silicon, for example, you can actually use filler to enhance a weak chin.

Do you think that injectables are the future with cosmetic enhancements, taking the place of surgery?

Absolutely, there's no question. If I can achieve a completely refreshed more youthful appearance, address people's concerns with injectables - there's no question. I will have clients that address their chief complaints to me and wonder if they need surgery. I tell them "don't do surgery - give me an hour." It's so much easier on an individual, and from a professional standpoint. There's just so many options available with injectables now that actually address chief complaints better than traditional surgery. For example, if you were to do a facelift, you make your skin tighter but you don't replace your face's volume.

What age group do you tend to see the most clients coming in?
Usually around mid-thirties is when patients start with injectables. In my younger patients, it's typically area-focused. For example, I've seen patients who are quite young with smaller lips and are interested in lip enhancement. But from a rejuvenation point of view, it would be early-to-mid thirties.

What about women that are 60+? Are there options for rejuvenation?

Oh yes, there's still lots that we can do. It's totally about your own concerns and what bothers you - we shouldn't get stuck on age. Genetics also come into play as well; genetically those who are fair-skinned with light eyes will age faster than someone who has more Mediterranean skin - as an example. The dermis is thinner - it's just the way your body is made and the way you are.

For more involved cases, for example changing the shape of someone's jaw with injectables, what is your advice?

You need to got to someone who understands a particular procedure and does a lot of it. Go to a specialist, either a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist.

What are your thoughts on injectables being so widely available? It seems as though every where I turn, an establishment is offering cosmetic injectables - even hair salons sometimes!

I would say that the only people that you want to go to are specialists; people who train in their program to preform cosmetic injectables. These would be plastic surgeons, dermatologists, ear nose and throat doctors, etc. These are the people who will have five to six years of training of doing this. I would equate it to this: if you have a problem with your heart, you go to a cardiologist. A problem with your brain, go to a neurologist. Go to someone who is a specialist. This is not an area to price-shop. You need to trust and develop a relationship with your practitioner and that will enhance the experience and give you the best results in the long run.

The big takeaway is to go to see a professional whom you have a relationship with and who you are comfortable with. You want to trust a professional to give you professional recommendations. I always say that just because you hear a recommendation, doesn't mean that you have to do it. You need to do what's right for you. Some people aren't comfortable with injectables - then don't do it! But I think it's important as a woman in medicine to tell patients that my job is to give you all of your options, to make you well-informed. When you're well informed, you make the best decisions. And sometimes the best decision for you is not to do anything. You're the only one who knows where your comfort level is. Patients will ask me if they're ready; I tell them "you'll know when you're ready." And sure enough, when they're truly ready they'll come back in and say confidently "I'm ready!" You should never feel pressured to do anything. You should do it for yourself.

I want to give Dr. Lisa Kellett a huge thank you for taking time out of her busy day to answer my questions; I learned a lot from our talk and I hope that you guys did too.

What do you guys think? Are cosmetic enhancements something that you're interested in? Do you feel comfortable talking about them with friends and family? What is your biggest takeaway from my chat with Dr. Kellett? Let me know! Let's keep the conversation going.

xo Joëlle


Monday 4 February 2019

Is It Too Late To Start A Blog?

If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked the question "is it too late to start a blog," I would be a rich woman - or at least have a new Chanel bag! In all seriousness though, if I can think of one of the most frequent questions that I get asked about blogging, or that comes up in many conversations on the topic, is if it's too late to start a blog in 2019.

My answer, and my opinion on the subject is a resounding no - it's definitely not too late to start a blog! Having a blog to share your thoughts and feelings, post creative photos and watch your photography improve and engage in a small but mighty community is an amazing thing, and the ship most certainly has not sailed on the experience.

To put it in perspective, I asked myself this same questions before starting La Petite Noob over 5 years ago. The blogging community in Toronto was small but established, there were already so many great blogs that I read daily and everything that I was interested in blogging about seemed to already be covered. I'm so glad that I ultimately decided to throw caution to the wind and just go for it, starting my own blog.  Make no mistake though, it certainly wasn't an easy decision - this question held me back from starting for years.

Yes, the blogging landscape is totally different now. There's certainly a saturation, and social media and the numbers game is much more prevalent. There's also a lot of advantages to starting a blog today. For example with so many girls and guys with their own blogs, it's much easier to connect and build your own community. Blogging is a pastime that is more commonly known now, so explaining your new journey to friends and family is a little easier. Plus, the way I look at it is that the internet is a big place - there's room for everyone.

So if you're on the fence about starting your own blog/Instagram account/Youtube Channel, whatever it is - my advice to you is to just do it. Don't worry about a right time, perfect situation or the right equipment - just start. Learn as you go and enjoy the process. It may seem like a slow journey, but I promise you that when you look back in years time you will be glad that you made the decision to start.

I have a video all about tips for new bloggers that might be interesting to you if you're thinking of starting a blog, or are new to blogging. Have a look!

I would love to hear your thoughts about if it's too late to start your own blog. Did you ever grapple with this question when first starting your blogging journey? Is this questions currently holding you back?

Let me know!

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