As the first month of 2016 draws to a close, I've been thinking about the year that passed and the year ahead. 2015 was good to me: I celebrated 5 years with my wonderful hubby in NYC, ran my first 10k race, found out I didn't have cancer, and finally, took a leap and started this little blog. And now I'm thinking 2016. And I know a lot of you are too.
What do we want this year to look like? What do we want for ourselves? I'm not just talking the little resolutions most of us give up almost immediately (because why would anyone swear off chocolate?!) Or pizza?!). I'm talking big stuff like our our health, our careers, who we want to be, the image we want to project. It's a time of year that brings with it a sense of renewal and plenty of contemplation, don't you find?
To help you get 2016 started right I've put together a giveaway with 6 local businesses I adore. Whether you're thinking of new fitness goals, nutrition, a new look, or self-care, these fantastic locals have your back. So let's get to it.
1. CONSULTATION, CUT, AND COLOUR AT MINT HAIR STUDIO ($140 VALUE)
I tell absolutely everyone about Mint Hair Studio because they've given me the best haircuts of my ENTIRE LIFE. Check out this before and after from my very first Mint experience. RIGHT?!? Why did I not find these ladies til my 30s?! Plus they're basically the best gals to chat with ever. I adore them, their space, and their cruetly-free Kevin Murphy product line. They're tucked into an adorable little house with minty green shutters in the heart of Hintonburg, you can't miss 'em.
The winner of my giveaway will receive the full Mint treatment: first a consultation to chat about the look you're after, then it's on to colour and the cut. You are going to frigging love this place!
2. ONE-MONTH UNLIMITED PASS AT IRON NORTH FITNESS ($150 VALUE)
I adore this gym. Iron North is a small, independent fitness studio in Hintonburg where Sam and Jenna (the two badass women below) have built a gender-neutral place to get your fitness on. Under one roof you'll find strength training (box jumps, boooooooo), interval training, spinning, yoga, run clubs, cycling clubs, personal training, marathon training, triathalon training, and massage therapy. And their class sizes are small. Like 5 people small. There's no cheating on your burpees (cause they'll spot you!), trainers learn your name right away, and you'll get to know the other folks in your classes.
The Iron North coaching staff have been kicking my butt since last October and I adore them. They're tough and they truly give a damn about their clients. Sometimes my phone will ding and it'll be a little note from one of my trainers, asking if she'll see me at the gym that week. For real.I am *not* one of those folks who loves working out (get the full story on that here), yet they've created a space I come back to again and again. And I think you're gonna love it too.
3. SUPPORT PACK WORKOUT APPAREL BY LVD FITNESS ($115 VALUE)
LVD Fitness is a local start-up that began with two Ottawa students trying to make a difference. Co-founders Josh Reyes and Mallory Rowan are nationally-qualified powerlifters who log three hours a day at the gym, leaving little time to volunteer or give back. They wanted to create a community where folks could get their hands on some great workout gear and do some good at the same time, so they started brainstorming. They reached out to WaterAid Canada headquartered right here in Ottawa, and instantly a partnership was born.
With each purchase, LVD Fitness donates funds to provide a month of clean water to those who wouldn't have it otherwise. And the bigger the purchase, the bigger the impact: buy an LVD tank or t-shirt and provide a child with water for a month. Buy an LVD support pack and provide water for an entire family. I'm giving away a full support pack, and the lucky winner can choose their sizes and decide if they want the tank or tee.
4. SKIN REVITALIZING FACIAL BY FORBES BEAUTY CO. ($95 VALUE)
I just tried Forbes Beauty Co. in Hintonburg for the first time and I can't believe I haven't been going religiously already. The space is totally charming (Instagram-worthy wallpaper!), they carry fantastic brands (Butter London and Jurlique Organic Beauty), and my oh my, the quality of their service is outstanding. Get a load of my Forbes mani!
I'm giving away a Forbes Beauty Skin Revitalizing Facial, which will be totally customized to the winner's skin. The Jurlique products Forbes uses in their facials are packed with botanicals, including a concentrate of 15 potent plant extracts to revitalize and hydrate. If you're concerned about the first signs of aging or you just need to give your skin a boost, this is what the doctor ordered.
5. ONE-DAY JUICE CLEANSE KIT BY RENEW COLD PRESS ($63 VALUE)
I love Renew. One of my very first blog posts was my diary of a one-day Renew juice cleanse and I've been smitten with them ever since. Renew Cold Press was created by Naomi Simon, a yoga teacher who stumbled on juicing while doing her yoga teacher training back in 2012. She began creating juices for friends and family who helped out with taste tests and juice cleanses. Once she realized she could combine her dream of building her own business and her passion for health, she decided to create Renew.
Renew Cold Pressed juices are made using raw organic ingredients, and they're always fresh and full of nutrients. And I've got 6 whole bottles for ya. That's right, you're gonna win yourself a juice cleanse! I'm not gonna lie, at times you'll be daydreaming of pizza and doughnuts but afterward you'll feel AMAZING. I sure did.
6. IN-HOME CLOSET CLEANSE BY VINCENT WOMEN'S BOUTIQUE ($250 VALUE)
The ladies of Vincent are like those effortlessly stylish gals you see on Instagram and think, how do they get it right EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. You know, like that pal of yours who strides into a room looking impossilby chic and is like "oh, this old thing?" That. Amanda and Angie have been running this little shop on Preston Street since 2013, and they absoslutely SLAY with their collections and their flawless styling. I give you exhibit A. And exhibit B. And exhibit C. You get the idea.
And in addition to running their shop, Amanda and Angie are the fairy godmothers of your closet. I'm giving away a 3-hour closet makeover with the Vincent gals! Yup, you read that right. They'll come to your place, organize your closet, give you styling tips and outfit pairings, help you identify what you love and what you hate (and why!), and finally they'll help you purge what you don't wear (and donate it to a great cause). Insane, right? I WANT TO DO THIS. LIKE NOW.
Alright, that's what's up for grabs, so let's get down to business. Here we go!
613 NEW YEAR, NEW YOU GIVEAWAY
To enter to win this whopper of a prize worth $800, you'll need to follow just two easy steps:
1. Like Amy in 613 on Facebook.
2. Post a blog comment below telling me your favourite thing in this prize pack.
Want some extra entries? Sure you do!
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
3. For an extra entry, post your favourite item on Instagram and tag @amyin613. Double points if you tag the business who sells it too. Triple points if you tag your post with #613newyou. You can post once per day for the duration of the contest.
4. For another extra entry, tweet your favourite item and tag @amyin613. Again, double points if you tag the business too. Triple points if you tag your post with #613newyou. You can tweet once per day for the duration of the contest.
5. Share this link on Facebook and tag the Amy in 613 Facebook page in your post.
Contest closes Friday January 29, 2016 at 4:00pm EST.
KIMBERLY PATERSON, COME ON DOWN!!!! You're the lucky winner of my New Year, New You giveaway!!! Please shoot me a quick note with your email address and I'll set you up with $800+ in prizes. Congrats you lucky girl!