Friday, March 20, 2015

A Standout Spa At The Diplomat Resort

As much as I love to travel and explore new countries and cities, there is something very comforting about travelling back to my favourite vacation destination. For me and my family, that special place of familiarity that keeps us coming back for more, year after year, is the Diplomat Resort and Spa in South Florida.

Aside from spending some serious quality time with my family on the beach and by the pools while on vacation at the Diplomat, I also love to sneak away for some pampering at the Diplomat Spa.

During my stay at the Diplomat Resort and Spa this winter, I was treated to the New Year, New You Spa Package, and it was incredible. This special package consisted of a one hour personal training session, an 80 minute massage, a 50 minute firming facial, and a shellac manicure and pedicure. I was blown away, and very grateful for my spa experience. (I didn't do the personal training session, though—I left my running shoes at home and instead spent time working out on the beach!)

The Diplomat Spa is a luxurious, tranquil spa to unwind and relax while you're staying at the resort, whether you're there for business or pleasure. And truly—with unforgettable oceanfront views, dim lights, and soft music, you'll be exhaling from the moment you walk into the change rooms and step into your plush bath robe as you await your spa experience.

I've had the pleasure of being treated to some serious pampering at the Diploma Spa after it opened in 2013, and I must say, this spa knows how to make you feel completely relaxed and rejuvenated. The spa features 10 treatment rooms, a salt-steam bath, and a variety of massages, including hot stone, deep tissue, signature, bamboo, pre-natal, reflexology, and couples massage. The spa also has a great selection of facials, waxing, manicures, and pedicures.  (Next to the spa, you'll find a 24-hour fitness room, which is the nicest fitness room I've ever seen.)

When booking your vacation to the Diplomat Resort and Spa, makes sure you allow some time to experience what this great spa has to offer. It's a great escape, especially since you're already on vacation. You're worth the pampering!

Enjoy. And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I'll be happy to help you.

It's All Science To Me

March break is almost over, and spring has arrived—but the weather does not yet match the season, as we're dealing with a lot of snow, and cold temperatures, still. No matter, though. Spring is here, and before we know it, we'll be sitting outside enjoying the weather we've been craving since January.

For now? We spend some time outside, but enjoy coming back inside to warm up, and watch some of our favourite shows on Netflix.

(Let me just take a moment here to thank Netflix Canada for this great package I received last month to welcome me back to the Netflix Stream Team for year two—I'm happy to be part of this great partnership again!)

Anyway, my boys? They love watching anything that teaches them something new. It's all about educational shows for my science-loving boys, and right now, Netflix is featuring movies and shows that are exactly what my boys love to watch, including Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. This is such an interesting, inspiring, show, and we've all stayed up way past our bedtime because we've been so consumed by the beauty of this show—and the interesting, awe-inspiring things we are learning as we watch. Also, Neil deGrasse Tyson is awesome.

"Through stories of humankind's quest for knowledge, viewers travel across the universe. Scientific concepts are presented clearly, with both skepticism and wonder, to impart their full impact. Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts."

Another great documentary my two boys loved watching was Nova: Deadliest Volcanos. But what my nine year old son loved the most was watching Nova: Hunting the Elements. He has a mad love for science, especially chemistry, and he even has an elements poster in his room. He actually knows way more about the elements than I do. His thoughts on Nova: Hunting the Elements? "It was so interesting. I like it because it's my type of show!" He learned even more than what he already knows about the elements, discovered where some of them come from, and he learned how the elements make up the world we live in—pretty darn interesting. There are other Nova episodes he's enjoyed watching, too, like Making Stuff, Cracking Your Genetic Code, and more. All of them are very interesting and I think, age-appropriate.

If my boys are going to be watching television, why not have them learn at the same time? I love how many options there are on Netflix, for both adults and children. And I always look forward to what's coming up next on Netflix, don't you?

Disclaimer: I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with Netflix and as part of the Netflix Canada Stream Team. All views and opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Date Night Must Haves (And a COVERGIRL, Pantene, and Crest Giveaway!)

Most days, I feel like I live in my car. From morning to night, I'm driving around town, taking the kids to school, working from the office downtown or from my home, heading into meetings, shopping, picking my kids up, and taking them to their after school activities, after homework, of course. Thank goodness for coffee on the go, otherwise I'd never make it through the day!

Of course all the driving around happens in between everything else that's getting checked off my to-do list, and let's not forget dinner preparation. (Pizza delivery nights are the best!)

We do so much, all the time. Phew—it's no wonder we're often left exhausted at the end of the day and all we can think about is relaxing. While I often squeeze in time for a quick lunch with friends and a weekly visits to the salon, (I need my weekly blow-dry!) we don't often take the time for ourselves in the evening, to relax, unwind, and re-connect with our loved ones—you know, like going on a date?

Dates nights are important in order to spend some quality time with your man or woman. And I love getting ready for date nights—if I know I'm going out, I am always full of energy. I love the process of getting ready, too—getting my hair done, using my favourite beauty products, and trying out new shades of lipstick that I know will quickly become favourites of mine.

I recenlty received—just in time for date night—some amazing must-have beauty products from P&G. COVERGIRL, Pantene Pro-V, and Crest to the rescue! The new COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipsticks are amazing, you guys—the colours are bright and perfect for spring, and they last a really long time. So basically that means you can have a glass of wine without having to worry about re-applying your lipstick on your date night! I usually always wear some shade of pink lipstick or lip gloss and I'm happy to say that the two shades of pink below? Both are perfect for date night! I also love Caramel Kiss—it's so pretty, and perfect for every day.

A new product I hadn't tried before was the Pantene Pro-V PowerFULL Body Booster Spray—I'm a girl who loves volume, and this product delivers. (Plus, it smells so good, too!) I always use the Booster Spray before TV appearances, because it gives my hair extra bounce and volume. Using this collection together will result in gorgeous, thick, and shiny hair—a good hair day every day? I'm down with that!

I'm excited I'm able to give away these fabulous products to one of my readers, too—just enter below for your chance to win:
  • Pantene Pro-V Full and Strong Shampoo
  • Pantene Pro-V Full and Strong Conditioner
  • Pantene Pro-V PowerFULL Body Booster Spray
  • Pantene Pro-V Power Up Daily Treatment
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick (Enchantress)
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick (Tantalize)
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick (Succulent Cherry)
  • COVERGIRL Colorlicious Lipstick (Caramel Kiss)
  • Crest 3D White Whitestrips Luxe Supreme FlexFit (Sample Size)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
By entering the following contest, you are accepting that if you win your contact information will be shared with a P&G PR and shipping agency for the purpose of mailing your prize. Please allow 4-6 weeks from the contest closure date to receive your prize.

This giveaway may appear on other blogs as part of the #PGmom program. However, to be fair, you can only win once per giveaway. If your  name is chosen more than once, another winner be selected. All winners must be from within Canada.

Disclosure: I am a P&G Mom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunties. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Top Five Reasons to Shop At Nordstrom Ottawa #NordstromOTT

Nordstrom Ottawa is opening its doors today, after much excitement and anticipation. I am ALL CAPS EXCITED, you guys! I have been a long-time lover and shopper of Nordstrom—it is my favourite department store, after all—and after attending the #NordstromOTT Gala Wednesday night, it was great to see that all the things I love about Nordstrom will be the same in my hometown, with a local twist. (How amazing is it that $180,000 was raised for United Way Ottawa and the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation because of the Gala?)

Bright and early today (starting at 7:30 a.m.) you can attend the Nordstrom Ottawa Beauty Bash, to get a look at what's in store for you (no pun intended) and to meet some of the lovely people who will be working behind your favourite beauty counters. (I'm still in awe of this package of amazing products Nordstrom sent my way to review. Best. Gift. Ever.)

From the Nordstrom pre-gala party  (which was a great way to welcome Nordstrom to Ottawa!) to the media preview of the 157,000 square-foot department store, to the VIP night in a Sens Suite (where I hung out with some wonderful people, including the amazing and charming John Bailey, Nordstrom's Spokesperson extraordinaire) it has been such a fun ride waiting for Nordstom to open. Yes, I love to shop, and yes, I'm easily excited, but you guys... this is huge news for Ottawa.

Here are my top five reasons to shop at Nordstrom Ottawa:  

1. One stop shopping. You can find it all at Nordstrom, from your favourite beauty products to accessories and clothes, for men, women, and children. (There's even an amazing lingerie department where you can finally stock up on Hanky Panky!) You can shop home decor, too. I love that this department store provides affordable options as well as exclusive, more expensive brands. Tory Burch, French Connection, Kenzie, Vince Camuto, Diane von Furstenberg, Kate Spade, Rag & Bone, Ted Baker, and Michael Kors are just some of the names you'll see as you shop.

2. The shoe department. Nordstrom started out as a shoe store in Seattle back in 1901. Trust me, Nordstrom knows shoes. The shoe shopping experience is my favourite part about shopping at Nordstrom! You'll be blown away at just how many shoes there are. And I need them all. I do!

3. Bazille restaurant. Rest your tired feet after hours of shoe shopping at Bazille restaurant, and enjoy all the delicious food and wine as you relax with friends. Bonus? An amazing patio to enjoy eating and drinking outside when the weather is nice out. (If you need a quick bite or an espresso, Nordstrom Ottawa also has a coffee shop on the main floor for a little pick-me-up.)

4. The service. I've always found the service to be excellent at Nordstrom, and this is very important to me. I love knowledgeable employees who are smiling and helpful, and Nordstrom does a great job of hiring the right people for the job.

5. Pretty things. Everything is pretty in Nordstrom. Just walk in, and you'll see what I mean. You can't shop at Nordstrom and not be in a happy mood, especially when you're surrounded by everything that is pretty. Put on those Michael Kors sunglasses. Feel the soft leather on that gorgeous Rebecca Minkoff bag. Try on the Jimmy Choo heels. It's retail therapy at its best.

These are just five of many reasons I love Nordstrom.

And now, I have to go—I've got some shopping to do!

Happy shopping, Ottawa.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Living The Good Life (With GoodLife Fitness)

Spring is finally—finally—in the air.

Oh, just writing those words feels amazing! It has been a long, harsh winter, and despite a ten day beautiful vacation to Miami and Orlando, winter still dragged on, which meant I spent more time than usual sitting on the couch wishing the snow would go away so I could get outside with my children to do the things we love to do. (I'm sorry, but fun winter activities like skiing and skating are not that enjoyable to me because -30C is the worst!)

Anyway, now with warmer days in our forceast, it's time to get back into shape. (Unless, of course, you've been smart and have kept up your workout routine even when all you've wanted to do is stay home, eat chips, and marathon-watch the new season of House of Cards.)

I have been with GoodLife Fitness for years, probably from the first year they opened in Ottawa. I loved that I could go the gym whenever I wanted to work out, I loved that there was always a location close to where I was, whether home or at work, and I especially loved the classes—like Body Pump.
I stopped going and tried another gym for a while, but I missed all that GoodLife offered me. Just as I started thinking about re-joining, I ws contacted by GoodLife Fitness to see if I wanted to work with them as a Brand Ambassador. Instantly, I said yes—there was no reason to say no to this parternship, especially because I knew it would help me achieve my fitness goals.

As a mom of two young (and very active) boys, I like to set a good example. Long walks after dinner, playing tennis, going on bike rides, and days spent swimming for hours on end in the summertime or when we're on vacation, are just some ways we stay active while having fun. For me, though, I need more. I like the challenage of a good class, like spinning or Body Pump at GoodLife, and I love putting on my headphones and getting lost in my music as I work out on the elliptial machine. Every bit counts—that's what I tell myself when I'm working out—and when I'm working out, I feel amazing. It's so true, what they say, it's like the magic cure-all. When you're working out and burning calories, your body changes, you feel better, and you look great, too.

I love being part of the GoodLife Fitiness Blogger Ambassador Program because I have no excuses for not going ot the gym now—and the more I go, the more I love it and the more it becomes part of my daily routine. And with summer around the corner, I can't think of a more perfect time to get in shape. After all, vacations for me are spent mostly in a bikini and I feel most confident when I've taken the steps to achieve a healthy body that can do it all.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Engerizer Giveaway In Time For March Break

If I were to write a book about parenthood, it would be filled with wise advice I'd want to share about how quickly life change as soon as you become a parent. We may think we have all the answers, but really, nothing can truly prepare you for all that comes with parenthood. With this book, I would include a pack of batteries, and a bottle of wine—two essential items you should always have at home once you're a mom or dad!

Believe it or not, batteries are absolutely essential to have in the home. (So is wine, of course.) We all know we should have working flashlights at home for emergencies, but those flashlights won't be any good if you don't have batteries to put in them. Since I'm always in the grocery store buying food for my family, I always remember to pick up new batteries when I'm there. (We love the Energizer® EcoAdvancedTM batteries, because they are super long lasting alkaline batteries made with 4% recycled batteries.)

I haven't always been prepared with batteries for life's emergencies, though; there are definitely times I wish I had batteries stored away at home, but of course, we learn some lessons the hard way!

I remember, in particular, one Christmas Day morning when my children were younger and how excited they were at opening presents around the Christmas tree. Of course, many of those beloved toys they received required batteries... batteries we did not have at home at the time, and of course, stores were closed. Lesson learned. If you have young children, you're definitely going to need batteries for all the toys, especially around the holidays. At all times, actually—it is always a good idea to have a drawer full of all different sized batteries because you never know when you'll need them. (Chances ares, sooner rather than later.)

Next time you're at the grocery store, buy some batteries and keep your sanity. Here's a bonus when you're stocking up on your battery essentials, too: when you purchase Energizer® EcoAdvancedTM batteries at participating stores (Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore) and go to and enter your product UPC, you'll be entered to win a smart fortwo (that's about $26,000!)

You can also win 10 secondary prizes of $100 President's Choice Gift Cards. You should enter as soon as possible, because this awesome contest is only going on until March 16th, 2015.

It's easy to enter, easy to win, and you'll never be stuck at home without those much-needed batteries again.

To help you out, I'm also giving away a special prize pack containing the new  Energizer® EcoAdvancedTM, an Energizer flashlight, and a Loblaw's gift card valued at $25. Winners must be a Canadian resident.

Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Join Us For An #UrbanBarnBarrhaven Twitter Party on March 5th!

I'm excited to announce that I'm working with Urban Barn again as their Spokesperson and Brand Ambassador for Ottawa's newest store in Barrhaven! That's right, Ottawa— a third Urban Barn is opening on March 7th, and you can expect to see all the usual gorgeous items for the home in the new store. What's in store at Urban Barn this spring? Think fresh, think colourful, think vibrant. You can sail away with navy and yellow pieces, accessorize with pops or bright orange and aqua, and transform your favourite room with neutral greys and soft green hues.

To find out more—and to win amazing prizes from Urban Barn—please join me as I host a Twitter party on  Thursday, March 5th, from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m EST.  I'd love for you to join me, @MrsLoulou,  and @FeistyFrugal as we'll be chatting about getting the home ready for spring—out with old and the cold, and finally, in with the new—new furniture, bright colours, and home decor ideas designed to brighten up any space of your home! The new spring collection at Urban Barn is perfection.

Urban Barn has all the pieces I need for my home, and I love how they change things up for each season. Sometimes, all you need are a few items for the home to make things feel and look brand new.

During the Twitter party, we'll be giving away some great prizes! You can win:

Echo Wall Clock valued at $249
Brockman Jewellery Box valued at $69
Three $50 gift certificates
One Grand Prize of $100 gift certificate

Here are the details you need to know:

Twitter Party: Thursday, March 5th at 8 PM EST
Follow: @MrsLoulou, @FeistyFrugal, @Urban_Barn
Hashtag: #UrbanBarnBarrhaven

And here is a special promotion for those of you joining us during our Twitter Party tonight, for 15% off furniture that you can redeem in-store on Grand Opening Day, Saturday, March 7th! Happy Shopping!

Please RSVP below. See you soon—can't wait!
See you soon!

Welcome Back, House Of Cards.

Are you ready?

I'm ready. I think. Do you remember how season two of House of Cards left us? I do.


House of Cards returns today on Netflix. Based on how things ended, we can expect another exciting season, especially since Frank is now the POTUS. And what's in store for Claire? Well, you've got to watch to find out!

I'm excited (and nervous!) to welcome Frank Underwood back in my life. Claire, not so much, because I'm terrified of her. (Even though she has a great wardrobe.)

I get obsessed with great television shows—like the best show of all—Breaking Bad. I think I watched all five season in less than three weeks. I'm pretty sure I'll be finished House of Cards before the weekend is over.

For the last couple of years, I haven't watched anything on TV unless it's been on Netflix Canada,  because I'm never left disappointed.  I can watch Orange Is The New Black, catch up on Mad Men, watch Breaking Bad again and again, and of course, indulge in House of Cards. I also enjoy watching the great family movies and TV shows that are perfect to watch with my children.

There are plenty of entertaining shows and movies to watch on Netflix Canada with the kids, and movie nights (or nights where we all agree to watch the same show on Netflix—like Full House—are always a good time, too. We cuddle together on the couch in front of the fireplace when it's cold outside. (And baby, it's been cold outside!)

Coming up this March on Netflix Canada: some amazing movies (like Cruel Intentions!) and TV shows, so stay tuned and I'll tell you all about what you can expect, soon.

 For now, happy binge watching House of Cards!

Disclaimer: I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with Netflix Canada as part of the Netflix Canada Stream Team. All views and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Love To Shop? Join Me For a #Flipp4Life Twitter Party (And Win!)

What's your favourite app? I love Instagram and use it more than Facebook and Twitter. I love apps that are helpful and easy to use, and one of my new favourite apps is Flipp. If you love to shop—like I do—this app is for you. Actually, let me rephrase that: if you love to shop AND love to save time and money—this app is for you!

Flipp is available on the iphone and Android and the new 2.0 version of Flipp includes a unqiue Shopping List feature to help you check things off your list as you're shopping. Seriously, how many times have you been in the grocery store only to get home to realize you forgot the one thing you were there to buy? Happens to me all the time, but with the Flpp app, no more. The Shopping List is great because as you add items to your list, Flipp will find all the local deals for you—all the deals you don't have to look for in the paper flyers anymore.

Flipp is simply the easiest way to browse flyers—over 400 retail flyers from national chains as well as hundreds of local stores to help you find the latest sales in your community.

Flipp. Search. Clip. Shop. Save. It's really that simple.

Join me tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. for the #Flipp4Life Twitter party. We are going to be celebrating the newest feature, The Shopping List, and we'll be giving away TWO $250 VISA gift cards, to get you even more in the shopping mood!

See you on Twitter! Don't forget to follow me, @MrsLoulou, and @getflipp so you don't miss out on the fun.

Disclaimer: I received compensation for my work with Flipp. All views and opinions are my own.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Oscars 2015: Best Dressed

The Oscars are my Super Bowl, and tonight I started getting ready at the crack of dawn. Actually, that's not entirely true. I was up at the crack of dawn, but I wasn't getting Oscar-ready. I love watching the Oscars at home, with tissues by my side, since I always shed tears for the winners. (I also shed a tear because I wish I was at the Oscars, too, in a gorgeous designer gown, walking the red carpet and quickly doing an outfit change in my hotel room for the after-parties. I mean! How much fun would that be?)

The best part of the Oscars, of course, are the gorgeous gowns everyone is wearing. Who wore what best is almost more important than who took home the Oscar.

Here are the gowns I LOVED at the 2015 Oscars:

Nicole Kidman. She sparkled. I loved her dress, her hair, her everything. To me, she is always perfection. And she was stunning.

Julianne Moore. I always, always love Julianne Moore. I think she's an amazing actress and she's flawless on the red carpet. Just look at her Chanel dress! Stunning.

Reese Witherspoon. I adore her and I loved her in Wild. Wild was the best book I read in 2014, and the movie was incredible. Even though Reese wasn't wearing my favourite gown at the Oscars, she still looked great.

Jennifer Aniston. I love that she stepped away from black for the Oscars! Her dress is absolutely amazing. So sexy. And her dress was the perfect colour to match her skin tone and hair.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Is Gwyneth Paltrow wrong about everything? Uh, definitely not when it comes to what to wear to the Oscars. I loved her dress. I  think Gwyneth was wearing one of the prettiest and most feminine dresses of the night. She looked stunning in pink, and that rose! Love it.

Margot Robbie. Wow. Her dress, her lipstick, her hair, her statement necklace. Love this entire look. Her accent is pretty sexy, too.

Sienna Miller. Sienna is always stylish, and beautiful, and tonight her black dress was absolutely gorgeous.

Jennifer Lopez: Her dress was amazing and so pretty—and so was her makeup, and her hair, and her golden tan.

Who do you think looked amazing at the Oscars?

Congratulations to all the winners! (I still need to see Birdman, Boyhood—if I ever find the courage, since I know I'll cry the entire movie—The Theory of Everything, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.)

Images from

Sunday, February 22, 2015

From Miami to Orlando: A Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Experience

Florida is always a good idea—especially in the winter. This year, we decided to extend our winter vacation down south and drive to Orlando after a week of fun on the beach at the Diplomat Resort and Spa and at the Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour in Miami. We took a road trip to Orlando, which was only three hours away. Planning was easy; we decided to fly into the Fort Lauderdale airport, rent a vehicle, and leave from Orlando once our vacation was complete. My children are expert travellers and are always ready for an adventure!

I was on Daytime Ottawa talking about some great resorts for family travel, and I loved that I was able to share our experience with the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando. It is the perfect resort to go to with the family.

The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, which I've written about before, is paradise. We were treated to a complimentary media stay and we enjoyed every minute—my children are already talking about their next trip to this gorgeous resort. They truly cannot wait to be back.  I stayed here when I was 12 years old, during my first trip with my family to Disney World. I remember how much my little sister and I loved it, and because of our good memories, I thought this resort would be the perfect place to stay for my children's first Disney experience. The best part about this resort is that it is close enough to all the theme parks at Disney, but far enough away so that you still feel like you're on a tropical vacation.

Check-in was a breeze, and we were offered complimentary champagne as we waited to get the keys to our hotel room. The lobby is something to see at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress; its beautiful, open-concept design is modern and bright, and the resort even has a mascot—the very colourful Macaw named Merlot that greets guests. Merlot was a favourite with the kids. The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress has undergone renovations to all the rooms and suites and to the main lobby, but the look and feel is very much the same as you'd expect at a Hyatt—clean, modern, and bright.

As my boys and husband quicky went to swim in the heated pool, I went to the new Marilyn Monroe spa; I was treated to a much needed blow-dry after all the days I spent in the ocean. The spa is beautiful, and the service is great. It's something you'll have to check out for yourself when you book your vacation.

 There are so many family activites to take part in and enjoy at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress that you definitely have to plan at least two days just to stay at the resort when you're planning your Disney trip. Families can enjoy the jogging and bike trails, the tennis and basketball courts, the rock climbing walls, the splash zone, and the water slide. There is also a Camp Hyatt for the kids, so there is no excuse for you not to treat yourself at the Marilyn Montroe spa.

We enjoyed many fun activites during out stay. We went on a family bike ride with my sister and her family, we played golf, we went paddle boating on Lake Windsong, we relaxed by the pools and we swam, of course, in the huge heated pool, surrounded by gorgeous water falls.  My kids enjoyed the water slide the most, and I enjoyed watching them have the time of their life. It's what vacations are all about, after all.

We spent one entire day at Disney World, (which I'll write about soon) but for the rest of our stay in Orlando, we didn't venture far from the resort, because there was so much to do, and because it so fun. Downtown Disney is only a few minutes away, so there is always something to do, whether you're staying at the resort or exploring the area around Orlando.

The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is the perfect resort for families travelling to Orlando for the first, second, or third time—and with so many great activites, plus the breathtaking pools and waterfalls, you'll be wanting to come back in no time. I know we will be back soon, too. Thanks again, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. We had such a memorable vacation!

For more information about the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, check out their website.

Happy travels!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hello, Beautiful... Here's a Giveaway For You!

I just got back from an amazing quick trip to Toronto. Thank you, Almay Canada, for flying me to Toronto and for putting me up in the ultra-cool Hotel Le Germain at Maple Leaf Square, so I could attend the beautiful breakfast event at Aria. It was a lovely treat, and a pleasure being there in person. Are you ready to talk makeup? (And win some great beauty products from Almay, too?)

Almay is a brand we all know and love, but did you know that Almay was the first hypoallergenic cosmetics brand? Almay uses hypoallergenic ingredients, and tests all products with dermatologists and ophthalmologists. This is really important to me, becuase what I put on my face as part of my beauty routine has to pass a few tests—and Almay passes, with flying colours. Almay is celebrating its hypoallergienic heritage with a fresh take on beauty—pure beauty.

Almay understands that women and moms are busy—we wear many hats, and accomplish more before 9 a.m. than is sometimes humanly possible! We juggle full-time jobs, meet deadlines, attend meetings, get the children ready for school, take our children to their after school activities, volunteer, run the household, and, somehow, we make time for ourselves.

Almay knows that mornings are busy, and they've helped simplify my beauty routine with a few beauty product must-haves, like:

Almay Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup: Almay Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup is a great foundation that is very lightweight, complete with SPF 15. The perfect start to your beauty routine.

Almay One Coat Get Up And Grow Mascara: Mascara can be tricky; many different brands promise amazing things for your lashes but few actually work as well as they say they do. I had my make-up applied by a make-up artists and was blown away by how great Almay's mascara worked on my lashes, especially because it's a completely affordable product. This mascara really lengthened the look of my lashes and the anti-breakage pro-vitamin formula helps protect my lashes too. (Also, mascara applied on lower lashes? A look I was scared to try before, but now, I love!)

Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipstick: You guys, I own hundreds of lipsticks. I know I'm not alone here; shopping for lipstick is fun. Of course, very few become personal favourites of mine, and even fewer can do two things at once: moisturize my lips, and give great colour. This lipstick by Almay does both these things! I am in love with Almay's new Butter Kiss Lipstick because of the great colours and also because it's a product that does what it is supposed to. It's a creamy lipstick that is hydrating, with ingredients like jojoba, coconut oil, and vitamin E. There are 12 shades to choose from, and each lipstick is under ten dollars. Amazing.

Almay Intense I-Colou Smoky-I Kits: These eye shadow kits are perfect for creating a mistake-proof (seriously!) eye look, from day to night. This pretty eye shadow trios are easy to apply, last a very long time, and come in four shades for Blues, Browns, Hazels, and Greens, although you can definitely mix and match them to get the desired colour you want.

The Almay Eyeliner is a great smudge-proof eyeliner that lasts all day. So even if you're in the office in front of a computer all day, your eyes will look as great at 5 p.m. as they did when you first applied your make-up in the morning.

I'm also a fan of the Almay Makeup Removers for eyes and face, because they are very gentle. They also do a great job of taking off my eye make-up at the end of the day with irritating my eyes.

Not only did I discover new makeup with Almay, but I also had the pleasure of meeting the authors of How To Feed A Family—these two busy moms (and bloggers) are the new faces of Almay Canada, and hearing them talk about how they find balance in their life (with great tips like packing lunches the night before, keeping everything by the front door, cooking dinners that become lunch the next day, and using the weekend to do some batch cooking or baking, so you'll have something for the kids to eat during the week) was helpful. Laura Keogh (former Beauty Director of FASHION Magazine) and Ceri Marsh (former editor-in-chief of FASHION Magazine) were lovely to speak to, and have motivated me to cook more. (Thanks, ladies!)

We even got to take home cookie mix, and pick our own toppings. A beautiful breakfast event in Toronto, in a room full of amazing, smart ladies, while testing out the latest beauty products by Almay? A perfect day.

I'm giving away something special from Almay, for one of my lovely readers, too! Enter to win a package that includes the book How To Feed A Family, and the latest beauty products from Almay Canada.

Just leave me a comment below sharing one tip that helps you get out the door in the morning! Please remember to leave your contact information, too.

Winner will be selected randomly on February 27th.

Good Luck, beautiful!

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