My Faves

IT’S MY SASS, IT’S #NOTMYPERIOD

Recently, I teamed up with U by Kotex for the #itsnotmyperiod campaign, that challenges the stigma that women behave and act a certain way because of their periods, not because of who they really are. U by Kotex is an avid supporter of women’s progress and have always been on our side, battling against the stereotypes that come with that “time of the month”. That’s something that strikes a chord with me. I’ve realized that unintentionally, we all contribute to period stigma – and women are as guilty as men.

I had a conversation with my family about my partnership, and my stepmom told me that in the 1950s, female hygiene products were actually put into brown paper bags before being placed on shelves in shopping aisles. Okay, we’ve come a LONG way since this, but period stigma still exists when it comes to using periods to explain a woman’s behaviour and emotions, whether she’s on her period or not. That’s not okay. Periods don’t define women, women do. It’s such a normal and natural part of being a woman and it’s time we start treating it that way.

When I was on The Bachelorette there were so many moments that could’ve been misinterpreted as me being either too bossy or dramatic. What can I say, I knew what I wanted – and I guess that dubbed me as one of the show’s most controversial Bachelorette’s to date. I’ll take it.

I was there to meet my future husband and there was no time for nonsense. I was honest and called it how it was. That didn’t sit well with some people. Honestly, things got a little crazy and emotions ran high. The most difficult part for me were the rose ceremonies. I wore my heart on my sleeve and did my best to be as honest and forthright as possible. I thought I was doing the right thing by not sugar coating my feelings, but my words were misconstrued and some people couldn’t take it. Eyes rolled and others actually said things like “oh, geez she must be pms-ing.” Are you kidding me?

A women’s emotions and opinions should never be brushed off as her experiencing “that time of the month”. The things I felt on that show were raw and I own everything I said and did. That was me. That was not “code red”.

Look around. Women have made such incredible strides forward – but there’s still a long way to go. Before we tackle the larger issues, let’s take a step back and think about how we speak about the simple, everyday things. I want to know if you’ve heard this happen or experienced it personally before. Share with me online using #itsnotmyperiod so together, we can change the conversation!

Because seriously, it’s my sass, #itsnotmyperiod.

Love,

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MY CMA AWARDS BLOOPER REEL

Just a low key night in Nashville with Beyoncé and Dolly Parton.

I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of such an extravagant and memorable night. Since I was little, I’ve absolutely loved country music so this was a real treat for me! I mean legends of country were strolling through and um…did I already mention Beyoncé?

Last year, Shawn and I walked the red carpet as guests! Our lives were so crazy after coming off the show, and every interview we had asked us, “when’s the date?” It all happened so fast. We found out we were going to the awards only a day or two before, so I grabbed a dress out of my closet (that I previously wore on The Bachelor), called a salon to get my makeup done, and did my own hair. This year…it was different. It was the 50th anniversary for the awards show and that’s a big deal! I teamed up with Sounds Like Nashville and hosted live from the red carpet – things got a little weird! My stylist did a phenomenal job – thanks Lo VonRumpf for helping me make the best dressed list this year! The designer of the gorgeous gown was Hayley Paige. I just loved the sheer lacy black crop top paired with the voluminous organza skirt! Cali Jeffries did my hair and makeup…it lasted all night! I also accessorized with jewelry I had no business wearing – bonheur_jewelry is so stunning. And of course, I need to thank my fiance, Shawn and trainer, Erin Oprea for that “taut tummy”.

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We all know my love for wine, so I sipped on a nice pinot grigio, and started my night off right! Speaking of starting my night off right, I got to meet Macy when I walked in. You know, the little girl who’s always on Ellen and who knows all of the presidents? I’ve always loved her and told Shawn that I want our unborn children to be just like her. She was there to host for Ellen. I hope she knows how lucky she is! Ellen is my freakin’ hero and It was such a pleasure to meet Macy.

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The fun started right away with A Thousand Horses. I LOVE their song Smoke. My one goal was not to ask typical questions and right off the bat I remember asking them “there’s four of you, why “A Thousand Horses?” And they said they get asked that all the time. DANG IT! But every time I turned around I had someone interesting to talk to and interview. Miss America, Jesse James Decker, Jon Pardy, Cam, Michael Ray, Cassidy Pope, Chase Bryant…the list goes on.

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I spiced things up and was that interviewer that played games and made people laugh – I believe I succeeded. Shawn met me after to enjoy the show and legend after legend made for an incredibly historical night – one I won’t forget!! You can watch the video of the behind-the-scenes bloopers and my interviews here!! I felt so in my element and want to do more of this!

Here’s your backstage pass into my night at the CMA’s!

Love,

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PS. How hot was my date?

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FALL TRES-TRENDS

I can’t believe it. Pumpkin spiced latte and sweater season is right around the corner. Feels like just yesterday that Shawn and I road tripped from Nashville to beautiful BC for the summer, entertained by Snapchat and my sweet summer jams (Dierks Bentley, anyone?). While those dog days of summer are winding down, I am looking forward to the fall. I have a thing for fall fashion (and hair styles). Goodbye summer swept hair.

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There’s something about a new season that inspires change – a fresh perspective and a hot, new look. I’ve pulled together some of my fav go-to hairstyles that I’ll be rocking in the fall. The TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume line (where you condition first, shampoo second) give me the softness and bounce that every girl wants. Now you know my secret.

Date Night with Shawn: Surfbort Waves

Down in Nashville, the bigger the better (and that also goes for hair). I have a thing for full, voluminous hair that’s still touchable and soft. I’ll pass on that sticky hairspray stuff. I like to use TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume & Softness Hair Maximizer, and then go in with a curling iron. If I need to, I’ll finish it off with some Flexible Finish Hairspray. It gives me a full look, without the crunchy strands. It’s sexy yet still lived-in. I love it.

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Morning Strolls with Doodle: Top Knot

Whenever I dash out for a walk with Doodle, I don’t spend time perfecting my hair – I’m still an easy-going Canadian girl at heart. For those kinds of mornings, I wash my hair with TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Pre-wash Conditioner and then Beauty-Full Volume Shampoo (and yes, I do it in that order). The combo gives me lots of volume without the fuss of hairspray and mousse. Then, I’ll blow dry it and gently brush it out. Finally, I gather it together, tie it in a top knot and head out the door. Easy!

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Brunch with the Ladies: Low Pony  

For brunch with the squad, I like to keep it simple and unfussy. You can’t go wrong with a low pony, parted down the middle. I’ll spray in the TRESemmé Flexible Finish Hairspray to lock my look. I hate seeing my hair fall flat and this stuff keeps it looking cute and casual. I’m all about smooth hair without the stiffness that comes with an ordinary hairspray. This finish spray keeps my hair’s natural movement.

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But for the next little bit, I’ll be rocking those beachy, summer waves. Perfectly imperfect and it works (for now).

Love,

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WEDDING DIET DETOX

Over the last year, I’ve worked really hard to change my lifestyle. Life’s about balance and I’m all for it. To me, being healthy isn’t about intense diets or quick fixes. It’s about the small steps that wind up making a big difference. I’m also naturally petite and for most of my life, I haven’t really thought about what’s good for my health. I’m lucky to have a quick metabolism, but hey, we’re all the same on the inside, right?

Enter Shawn. He’s a big book guy, a big guitar guy, a big hair guy – but, surprise, surprise. He’s also a big multivitamin guy. I wasn’t really into it at first, but now I take a Centrum multivitamin every morning – it helps support my health goals.

I’m really trying to stick to a routine – having a multivitamin each day, eating healthy and getting regular exercise. I guess you could say I have a little more motivation now. Shawn and I haven’t set a wedding date just yet, but we’ve been bouncing around ideas and it’s in our cards for the near future. Recently, a lot of my friends have gotten married and as much as a bride wants to look her best, it’s just as important that she FEELS her best. Sign me up.

On top of taking a multivitamin daily, I’ve been eating very healthy. I try and have four meals a day and they usually consist of egg whites, toast with almond butter, fruit, chicken salad, chicken tacos, protein shakes and lots of veggies. I eat as much raw sushi as I can (and stay away from the sodium packed soy sauce). I also eat a lot of salmon and I try not to eat carbs too late in the evening. Oh, yes. I also have wine a few times a week. Wine and dark chocolate are my guilty pleasures and then at least once a week I will eat a cheat meal – a big bacon cheeseburger, pancakes, waffles or a big bowl of pasta. Remember that thing I said about balance? I live by it.

But what’s a healthy lifestyle without exercise?! It helps that my fiancé and a close girlfriend are trainers. Erin Oprea is a good friend from Nashville and has been helping me maintain a healthy lifestyle (and really kicking my butt!). She also trains Carrie Underwood, Jana Kramer and Kelsie Ballerini. I work out four times a week with either Erin or Shawn – and if I want to shake it up, I do a spin class. I’m also kind of hooked on my FitBit. Usually, I try and reach 10k steps per day #goals.

I know it won’t be long until I’m in a white dress, so I’m taking my lifestyle choices pretty seriously. It’s not just to look good, but it’s to feel amazing when I walk down that aisle.

Love,

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Centrum provided information and support to develop this content. The opinions and advice shared here are my own.

KAITLYN BRISTOWE X STILNEST JEWELRY

Music has always been my biggest inspiration. I grew up in the dance studio and was doing pirouettes almost as soon as I could walk. Whenever I’d step on to the dance floor, I’d have this overwhelming feeling of safety. It didn’t matter if it was a ballet class or a hip hop class – I’d still get that feeling. Dance was amazing in that it taught me confidence and creativity. I may get a bit of that from my mama, but dance really took it to a new level!

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Since moving to Nashville with Shawn, I’ve really gotten into singing. I’ve been working with a voice coach and a songwriter and I absolutely love it! Nashville is Music City. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and historic Ryman Auditorium are Downtown and the city is packed with legendary honky-tonks, dive bars and dance halls. When I’m in Nashville, I’m in my element.

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Looking back, it only made sense to create a jewelry line that mirrors my love for music. It’s helped me get through tough times, but it’s also been a source of comfort. Music makes me happy and it’s what I turn to when there’s a moment worth celebrating. This is what this collection is about. It’s personal.

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I’ve teamed up with Stilnest to design something that’s one-of-a-kind. The necklaces, rings, bracelet and headpiece are made from a high quality 925 sterling silver and are also available in gold or rose gold (my fav!).

Shop my collection and wear it to music festivals, after parties and concerts with friends. Enjoy it. I’ll be doing the same.

Love,

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Photo Credit: Sharla Pike Photography

GIRL TIME WITH MY PALM BAES

Shawn and I are back in BC for the summer – and I couldn’t be more excited! I didn’t realize how much I missed watching those sunsets, biking the seawall and being minutes away from my girlfriends. But, I am back in the city that captured my heart (and this time, there are no torrential downpours).

Like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve seen my Palm Baes and we needed a serious catch up (I have to add, I’m not a fan of the word “bae”, but I am a fun of puns and Palm Bay). Anyways, with a little help from this beverage brand, our day date was set…sometimes I cheat on my glass of rosé with a punchy Palm Bay. Don’t judge me.

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It was a perfect day. For those of you who’ve never been to Vancouver, let me tell you, summertime here is golden. It may rain 10 months out of the year, but once summer hits, you remember why it’s all worth it.

With the sun shinin’, everyone was in an extra good mood. My ladies came over and we huddled over a table laughing, catching up and sipping on some Palm Bays. It’s just what we needed to beat the heat – something refreshing and tropical – and the Pomegranate Hibiscus flavour did the trick. Okay, fine. The cookies and ice cream were also up there.

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I played bartender and mixed cocktails for the girls (with a side of cotton candy, ‘cause I’m that good). We turned up the music, danced around the living room and just goofed off. By the end of it, I felt like I had done a 2-hour abs workout. Seriously. I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard.

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That #PalmBayLife is good for the soul.

Love,

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This post was sponsored by Palm Bay but all opinions are my own.

SWEET SUMMER JAMS

Every summer has a song, but this year’s has ten! I always create a little playlist and have the tunes going at the beach, at a bbq, or even during a night-in with Shawn (and Doodle). Music makes things better.

So, roll down your windows and crank up those tunes. Here’s what I’ve been listenin’ to…

 
Love,

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BEAUTIFUL BRITISH COLUMBIA

Last week, Shawn and I flew out to Vancouver for a few days. If you’ve ever been, you’ll know that when it rains there – it pours. But, regardless, it still felt so good to be back in the city that captured my heart. We celebrated my birthday with friends and watched my best friend walk down the aisle. We had way too much fun dancing at the reception – if you follow me on Snapchat, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

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We don’t have a permanent house in Vancouver, but the OPUS Hotel made us feel right at home. I mean, we stepped into our room and there was a bottle of red wine just begging to be opened! I was right in my element. These people do not miss a beat.

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Photo Credit: OPUS Hotel

As if the wine weren’t enough, they also sent up a couple glasses of champagne. So, here I was – in Vancouver and nicely buzzed in my first hour.

I can’t say enough about the staff. They were all so friendly and even left little candy treats for us in the room. Seriously, Shawn and I felt so spoiled! We were either sippin’ on vino or running around the city on a sugar high (thanks OPUS). Oh, and I need to mention that housekeeping also came to my rescue. I had my bridesmaid dress hemmed by a sweet lady in Edmonton who works for Blu’s in Southgate Centre. She did such a great job, but I’m pretty petite, and after trying on the dress again – it was still a bit long. That was no issue for housekeeping. They had it hemmed and ready to go in a matter of a couple hours! Phew.

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Photo Credit: OPUS Hotel

Our trip to Vancouver was too short – and we need make our way back again soon. I miss it more than ever today.

So, with that – I’ll leave you with a few reasons why Canada is one of the GREATEST countries in the world. I may be in Paris right now, but you can bet that I’m making a Caesar and toastin’ to my homeland. It may not taste as good as Leo’s, but, it’s still pretty darn good to me. Find him at OPUS Bar and tell him I sent ya!

20 THINGS THAT MAKE CANADA GREAT

1. It’s underrated. If you’ve never been – you’ll never fully understand its beauty.
2. The people are the friendliest you’ll ever come across.
3. Ketchup chips are everything.
4. Our beer is 5% – ha!
5. Prairie summers, bright yellow mustard fields, rolling hills, endless skies, prairie lakes and long, late sunsets.
6. Places have a small town vibe.
7. Canadians stand up for each other – and for what they believe.
8. You don’t hear anyone saying, “let’s make Canada great again!” – It’s consistent; it’s always great.
9. The snow! I love it – seasons give people balance and make you feel grounded.
10. We feel safe – gun control is important.
11. There are endless options for road trips.
12. Vancouver is home to many, but you never get used to its beauty. It feels like you’re permanently on vacation! The mountains and beaches. Enough said.
13. Caesars – yum!
14. Gay marriages. Everyone is treated as an equal.
15. Justin Bieber #SorryNotSorry.
16. Tim Hortons – the ice caps AND the mini donuts.
17. Poutine (okay, I’m getting hungry).
18. Newfoundland icebergs in the middle of June.
19. Lake Louis (featured on Sean Lowe’s season). BEAUTIFUL.
20. Canada is the land of diversity and opportunity.

Happy Canada Day, guys! I’ll be back before you know it.

Love,

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MY FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO IN VANCOUVER

Growing up in the tiny town of Leduc, Alberta meant turning to my imagination. For about 7 months, I’d hide indoors because I just couldn’t face the cold. Once summer came around, everyone would travel to explore other cities. My family’s summer vacations always led us to beautiful BC, where we’d hang out at the beach, go boating and master the hiking trails. We’d do all of the things that were impossible to do back home. To me, Vancouver felt like the perfect getaway – I couldn’t believe people got to live there! When I turned 19, I got the opportunity to move to this city and didn’t think twice. It seemed too good to be true!!

There’s so much to do in this beautiful city. If you EVER get the chance to visit, check out some of these top things to do. They still get me every time:

1. Grouse Grind. If you are an active person, challenge yourself to the Grouse Grind. I REPEAT, ONLY IF YOU ARE A SERIOUSLY ACTIVE PERSON. They call it the “grind” for a reason.

It’s a 2.9 km trail up Grouse Mountain – Mother Nature’s stair master. It usually takes about an hour to an hour and a half to fully make it up this mountain. But, let me tell you, it’s worth it. You get a SERIOUS butt workout and then once you get to the top you get THE most gorgeous views of the city. There’s also a restaurant there where you can reward yourself with nachos and a nice, cold beer. Walking around the mountain, you’ll find Grizzly bears (in a confined area), a bird show (ew, not for me) and other cool sights. During the winter, you can take the tram, which is SO much easier than the hike! You can spend the day skating on the frozen pond, skiing, snowboarding and enjoying some of the restaurants. It’s definitely one of my favourite things to do in Vancouver (especially, the après-ski part).

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2. Granville Island. Definitely a must see! You can drive down or take a quick water taxi from downtown – which, I recommend because you get to be on the water.
There are a lot of great restaurants for serious foodies (The Sandbar is my fav), Check out the shops, boutiques and live entertainment. There’s a brewery and a farmer’s market with fresh foods (including seafood – which I just love!). It’s a fun place to visit as a family, as a couple or even solo!! When I close my eyes, I can just SMELL Granville Island – there’s nothing I don’t love about this place.

3. Fly over Canada. This is a new one for me! I recently went and felt like I was in Disneyland!! It’s a 10-minute interactive ride where you buckle up and “take off” on a virtual flight through Canada. I don’t think anyone realizes how stunning Canada really is. I know I have a good amount of American followers who might think like Shawn – that it’s all igloos and frozen tundra. But, take this ride and you will want to travel the whole country. It’s incredibly inspiring, fun and entertaining.

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4. The Vancouver Aquarium. Anytime my friends or family visit, I take them to the aquarium. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s always a good idea. What I love most about this place is that it’s non-profit. They protect animals in the wild and care about conservation. Ultimately, they use what they learn to help sea life in the wilderness. I’m also a lover of animals so this place is just right up my alley. I feel like a little kid when I’m there. You’ll see everything from whales, jellyfish and sea otters to sloths and frogs.

5. Kitsilano Beach. This one is my go-to spot in the summer. The Kits area is a 15- minute walk from downtown over the Burrard Bridge – you go from a downtown vibe to literally, the most relaxed place in Vancouver. Everyone is so laid back and in beach-mode. There are concession stands, an outdoor pool overlooking the beach, a seawall (another one of my favs), people dancing in drum circles and lifeguards (so you can paddle board with no fear!). It’s Vancouver’s Venice Beach with mountain views and AMAZING sunsets. I have a thing for grabbing a blanket, a bottle of wine, and Shawn (of course) – just in time to catch the sunset. Before I met him, this was my all-time favourite thing to do with girlfriends.

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The west coast lifestyle is so alive here. People slow down and enjoy life a little more – there’s just no rush to get from point A to point B. Over the last couple of years, my life has become a bit busier and I DO need to keep myself on time and on schedule! I rely on my CLUSE watch – it keeps me from getting on people’s bad side. It’s a simple piece – elegant and minimalistic. Fits right in with Vancouver’s vibes!

Shawn and I are heading back to Vancouver this summer. Hopefully, I’ll run into some of you at one of my favourite spots!!

Love,

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OLD SCHOOL LOVE

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Last weekend, Shawn and I did the unthinkable. We put away our iPhones and went retro – no phones, no TV, no SNAPCHAT!

Let me tell you, it felt great. Instead, we whipped out an adult colouring book (it’s a thing, people!) and just spent the evening hanging out. It was so refreshing to unplug and go back to a simpler time – if only for a night. We loved every minute and this time, Shawn stayed inside the lines…

Love,

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Shop my cami look herewww.kitandace.com

Photography | Booje Media