Monday, June 19, 2017

Simple Ways To Live An Eco Friendly Life

I was never very environmentally conscious before becoming a mother. Once I had children, though, my perspective on most things changed, including my views on the environment, the world I was raising my children in, and what I needed to do to make sure my children were growing up aware of the things they needed to do to keep our planet green and contribute to their environment in positive ways. Thankfully, I've raised some really good people–boys who are smart and know more than I did when I was their age about science, the environment, and how even small things can make a big impact. Taking on a new job in Communications at Environment and Climate Change Canada has opened my eyes even further to how much work is being done around us to keep our air clean, and our communities safe and healthy.


Here are some ways you can be more environmentally conscious in simple ways:

Be Aware: Becoming more environmentally conscious isn't difficult; in fact, living in Canada–a country that does so much already to help our environment–makes it almost easy. Read more, be aware, and find out how you can get involved in your community in ways that give back in small or big ways.

Get the kids involved: The more you lead by example, the more your children will learn. Have your children help with composting, recycling, and donating items they no longer need or use. Teach your kids the importance of conserving energy, why it's important to use less water, why they should turn off lights when they leave a room, and try spending more time in the great outdoors appreciating the environment and the clean air we're so fortunate to breathe.

Reduce what you use: This can be tricky, especially if you like holding on to things like I do. A few times a year, go through all your household items, including your closet (this one can be difficult!) and get rid of what you don't need, what you don't wear, and what you could do without. Donate items in good condition.

Buy less: Think twice before making that next purchase; go through your closet one more time and see what new outfits you can put together so you don't have to keep shopping for the same things over and over again.

Pay attention: Pay attention to how much you're using in your house, including water and electricity. Turn off lights, install energy efficient lightbulbs and, if you can, energy efficient windows, and reduce your daily consumption. Unplug electronics, and use less water.

Plant trees: Even if you don't have a large back or front yard, you can always find room to plant more greenery. The City of Ottawa will give (and plant) a new tree to home owners. All you have to do is request a tree. We did this last year and are enjoying watching our tree grow.

Drive less: I drive to work, because it's the easiest and more efficient option for me, but if you're able, drive less, or carpool. I wish I worked close enough to walk or bike to work.  

Buy energy efficient products: We've switched to energy efficient lightbulbs throughout our home. Energy efficient light bulbs consume 40% less energy than regular bulbs, and last ten times longer, too. Going green saves money, which is a total bonus.

Share: I have a thing for buying new books and I'm an avid reader.  I'm also not a fan of e-readers, because nothing can replace an actual book in my hands. What I do to make myself feel better is lend book to all my friends who are looking for new things to read. At least I'm re-using what I already have! I also donate books to hospitals. Every few months, my girlfriends and I get together for a clothes swap, too, which is another great way to recycle items you're no longer interested in keeping.

My children also love grocery shopping with me and we choose local produce as much as possible. We also enjoy planting our own vegetables and thanks to a mother-in-law who is an expert gardener, my boys have enjoyed learning about plants and how they grow.

Keeping things green and helping our planet doesn't have to be complicated. It's the simple things we do daily that will have impacts for years to come.

How are some ways you're helping the environment?

Disclaimer: This post is part of The Whole Family Happiness Project in partnership with Social Currents and the Low Carbon Economy Narrative Initiative. The Whole Family Happiness Project poses the question, "What is the connection between our individual purpose, our family happiness, and the happiness of the world around us? 

To learn more or to get involved, visit Whole Family Happiness on Facebook. #wholefamilyhappiness

Friday, June 16, 2017

Help Yourself To Faster Airport Security This Summer

It's summer, and if you're like me, you've been planning your vacation for a while. Although the weather here is absolutely perfect right now, there's something exciting about getting ready for a vacation. My favourite summer vacation destination in Greece, because of the beauty and the culture. There is nothing more breathtaking than the Mediterranean Sea! I also love going to Miami in the summer (and winter!) with my family because it's a short plane ride, the resorts are gorgeous, and the beach life is perfect.

I'm a last minute packer, and despite how often I travel, I always pack more shoes than I should–but if you don't plan accordingly, over-packing will be the least of your worries. Since we tend to be so focused on our destination, it's easy to forget about the journey, particularly security screening at the airport. The good news is that being prepared can help you breeze through the screening checkpoint, leaving you more time to shop, eat, or relax before your flight.

The first step is doing your homework so you know what goes in your carry-on (take it from me: pack your beauty essentials that aren't 100 ml or less in your checked luggage–I learned this the hard way!) and what goes in your checked baggage. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has some useful tools on its website, including a searchable "What can I bring" list that lets you know where to pack your items and what can and can't fly. It also has a travel-checklist generator and tips for all sorts of challenges, from what to do with large sports equipment and medical supplies to travelling with pets.


According to CATSA, one of the biggest hold-ups at security is having too many liquids, aerosols, and gels. I always have my water bottle taken away from me–maybe this time I'll finally remember not to bring it through security with me. Containers over 100 ml and 1 litre bags that are overstuffed with smaller containers (no seal, no deal) will need to be checked. As for that cup of coffee or water bottle I mentioned: if it's over 100 ml be prepared to chug!

There are some exceptions, like liquids for kids under two years old, and medication. You can check out more here. In all cases, the containers should be taken out of your carry-on and be ready to present to the screening officer for inspection.

Once you hit the front of the line, it helps to have your boarding pass ready to show the screening officer. You can also speed things up if you put loose change, keys, and small electronics (including your phone and tablets) in your carry-on so you can just drop them in the bin. If you're travelling with a laptop or other large electronic devices like gaming consoles or DVD players, you'll need to put them in a separate bin. For more information on what you can put in the bins at the checkpoint, you can find the information here.

If you're still wondering what to do with an item or want more information about security screening, send questions to CATSA on Twitter or Facebook.

Lastly, travel is all about being mobile, so you should definitely download CATSA's free mobile app. It's available on Android, iOS and Blackberry, and can help you with all this and more, including wait times for security at most major airports.

Here's a great little video with packing tips to make your travel time–and getting through airports–a breeze this summer.



Happy travels!

Disclaimer: I have been compensated by CATSA for this post. All views and opinions are my own. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Getting Healthier From The Inside Out With Align

Finally, warmer days are here! Summer makes me happy, and the warmer temperature and sunshine always motivate me to stay on track with eating well, taking care of my body, and staying on top of my fitness routine. Of course, some days are harder than others, but I find it's easier to stay on track when the weather is cooperating nicely.

Although working out several times a week is important in helping you look and feel great, I believe it's what you put inside your body that has a bigger impact. If you feel good from the inside, you'll no doubt look and feel incredible on the outside, too. The best part about getting healthier from the inside out is that it's not complicated. We all know what foods are good for us, and we know that being physically active is important, too. I like doing activities I love, like cycle and barre classes, and spending as much time in the great outdoors as I can, now that it's nice outside. 


Whether it's swimming, playing soccer or basketball with my boys, or just going for a long walk after dinner, staying active is key.
In addition to eating healthy and working out, taking a daily probiotic like Align helps your body, too. These capsules provide ongoing relief of IBS symptoms like abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloating, and Align contains a probiotic that provides live bacteria that form part of the natural, healthy intestinal flora. 

Now that summer is here many of us will be travelling and keeping busy; and sometimes, changes in our routine, like when we're travelling, can disrupt our natural healthy intestinal flora. Taking Align once a day, every day, provides probiotic bacteria that contribute to making you healthier, and feeling better. The capsules contain Bifidobacterium 35624 TM, a patented probiotic strain.

Align is the number one Gastroenterologist recommended Probiotic supplement, and the number one Doctor recommended probiotic supplement, so you know what you're taking is good for you.

So why not kick up your health care routine this spring and summer, and make Align a part of your daily routine?

Disclaimer: I created this post as a paid ambassador for Align Probiotic. All opinions and advice are my own and I only work with companies I genuinely love and have used prior to being contacted.

*Among gastroenterologists and doctors who recommended a brand of probiotic in an AlphaImpactRx 2016 survey 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Kick Off The Long Weekend In Style With Tide

Finally, the long weekend is here! The weather has been amazing lately, despite a little rain. The Victoria Day long weekend is perfect for spending time with family and friends, and getting away from it all, in the great outdoors. It's time to pack up the bathing suits and sunscreen and get the BBQ fired up at the cottage.

If you're heading out of town this long weekend, you'll be spending time packing and washing your favourite travel outfits to take with you– little t-shirts, shorts, comfy dresses and leggings, bathing suits, and sweaters, for around the campfire. 

One of my favourite getaways was last summer when my family and I and a group of our friends went to Mont Tremblant for a few days of relaxation and fun in a beautiful house right near the village, complete with an indoor pool, 12 bedrooms, and a nice outdoor fire-pit where we roasted marshmallows late into the night. 



The only thing I didn't love about the experience was the fire-pit smell left behind on our clothes long after the last marshmallows had been consumed. So, what's the best way to take care of your clothes when you're enjoying your getaway? The products that I love to use–and that work amazingly well–are Tide PODS Plus Febreze, an ultra-convenient 4-in-1 laundry product that cleans, brightens, and freshens each load, Tide Odor Rescue with Febreze Odor Defence, to help eliminate odours at the fibre level, and Downy Fresh Protect, which removes odours from clothes and provides an amazing fresh scent that lasts 24-hours or up to 12 weeks in storage. 


Here are some long weekend tips to help you have a great time without the laundry headache: 

1. Stock up on Tide PODS Plus Febreze Odor Defence, because they're super convenient to travel with, and they get the job done! They clean, brighten fabrics, fight stains, and freshen each load, even when you're enjoying your time outside.

2. Pack light! I'm a total over-packer, and I always regret it afterwards. For a long weekend getaway, just bring the essentials: flip flops, sunscreen, swim wear, towels, little dresses, leggings, and a sweater, in case it gets cool in the evenings when you're relaxing outside. 

3. If you're noticing your clothes have a lingering campfire smell, use Tide Odor Rescue with Febreze Odor Defence Laundry Booster to help eliminate this smell. 

4. I love using Downy Fresh Protect to remove odours from clothes, like the smell of chlorine from the pool. Downy Fresh Protect is easy to use, because you just throw the beads in the laundry with your clothes and towels. They work great on getting out the musty smell from wet towels that have been sitting outside all day. (Here's a handy tip: allow your towels to air dry until you're ready to wash them). 

However you're spending your long weekend, I hope it's with family and friends. Keep things simple and fun with Tide and Downy, and take the time to relax in the great outdoors. Happy long weekend!

Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Tide and I have received compensation and product for review.  All views and opinions are my own. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Affordable Gifts She'll Love For Mother's Day

Mother's Day is coming up this weekend, and even though we should celebrate moms every day for all the work they do, (truly, it's a 24 hours a day job... forever!) it's nice to give something special to the moms in your life—or to treat yourself to a little something sweet, too. I will say there is no gift greater than being a mom, and I feel blessed every day to have two little wonderful people in my life who love me very much.  The greatest gift of all is being a mom to my amazing boys.


I love giving practical (and affordable) gifts for most occasions, products I know will be used and loved. Here are some great suggestions on how you can spoil mom this Mother's Day, without breaking the bank:

Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner: Why not put together a hair and beauty package with some great products you can pick up from the drug store or grocery store for an easy gift every mom will love? The new Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner are a great set to include in your package, because this new shampoo and conditioner makes hair healthy from the inside out. This formula goes beyond surface cleaning to repair and strengthen hair, leaving hair smoother, with less breakage. The shampoo not only work incredibly well, it's also very affordable, too. You don't have to spend a lot of money on great hair care. Who doesn't want healthier, shinier hair just in time for summer?

Herbal Essences Bio-Renew Dry Shampoo: A little dry shampoo goes a long way, especially when it helps revive dull and lifeless hair—which this product does really well! It contains 0% parabans, and it purifies and protects hair from the inside out, for smoother, softer hair. The Cucumber and Green Tea Dry Shampoo revitalizes second-day hair with an instant hair refresh, while it absorbs oil, and lifts for extra volume. It smells so refreshing, too.

Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream: This iconic moisturizer has been reformulated to include new ingredients that boost hydration in your skin. The results? Fast-acting, long-lasting hydration, smoother skin, and less visible lines and wrinkles. This a great beauty product to buy to pamper mom (or yourself) for a fraction of the cost of other more expensive brands. The best part? It works incredibly well.


Alex and Ani: Jewellery is always a great idea, especially when it's affordable! Alex and Ani sell beautifully designed bracelets and you can buy some gorgeous sets for Mother's Day. With so many different styles to choose from, you'll find just the perfect piece for your mom. You can shop Alex and Ani at Nordstrom or at Alex and Ani boutiques.


Elizabeth Arden make-up: I love Elizabeth Arden products, espeically their amazing ceramide capsules. Elizabeth Arden has just come out with their new Tropical Escape collection. The Sheer Kiss Lip Oils come in six different shades, and give your lips a nice vibrant colour and a lot of shine. The FourEver Bronzing Powder is a combination of a blush, highlighter, and bronzer, giving your face that sun-kissed glow. The Dare To Bare Body Bronzing Oil is an amazing product that gives your skin an instant tan, with just the right amount of shimmer.



La Marca Prosecco: Why not elevate every day with a touch of luxury? La Marca Prosecco is premium Prosecco from Italy, and it's now available at an LCBO near you for under $20. It tastes delicious on its own, and it's the perfect Prosecco to use to make mimosas and other summertime beverages for those warm days around the patio when you're home. If you're hosting a Mother's Day party, make sure to include La Marca Prosecco to mix your drinks! It's such a beautiful bottle to gift, too.


Nike Athletic Gear: For the fitness loving moms, how about some new Nike running shoes and workout gear? There's nothing more I love than a great new workout outfit. It motivates me even more to make fitness a part of my daily routine. I put a few pieces to the test, and the new Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit Training Shoe are a perfect gift to give for the athletic mom.


Ann Taylor: AnnTaylor.com has some incredible timeless pieces you can shop for online, including summer shoes and wedges, and gorgeous dresses for every occasion. Ann Taylor also just launched a Mother's Day anthem video to show their support to mother's everywhere... a beautiful tribute to the mothers in our lives. (See below!). If you can't shop Ann Taylor in-store, order online; the process is simple and there is so much to choose from.


            

Cake Beauty: I love that Cake Beauty is Canadian, but did you know they're also vegan and cruelty-free, with no added harsh chemicals in any of their products? Here are two products I'm loving: The Do-Gooder Volumizing Dry Shampoo, because it's oil-absorbing, and gives hair an amazing boost of volume. The super light-weight formula lifts roots, and won't leave your hair feeling weighed down. It also smells so good you're going to want to use it all day long! The Locks Smith Dry Conditioner, because it instantly polishes your hair, making it feel and look soft and shiny. It's got argan and coconut oil in it, to nourish, hydrate, and protect dry ends, and it smells better than cake. (You can buy the dry shampoo and dry conditioner for $19 each, or as a set for $32 at Shoppers Drug Mart).


DermaBlend Professional: Have you tried DermaBlend yet? For flawless skin that leaves your skin glowing, Dermablend foundation, concealer, and powders give your skin incredible coverage, so you feel confident in your skin. You can read more about DermaBlend here.


Caudalie: Caudalie skin care products are part of my daily beauty routine. I love the new Vine Active Collection, and think these products would make the perfect Mother's Day gift. These products are anti-wrinkle, anti-dark circles, and fragrance-free. The Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum helps protect the skin from everyday aggressors like pollution and stress, on a daily basis, and you can see results almost right away, leaving your skin looking healthy and glowing. It's a light formula that easily blends into the skin with no residue.  The Vine Active Energizing and Smoothing Eye Cream helps get rid of dark circles and smoothes the eye area for a refreshed, energized look. Bonus: it also works great around the lips, as well, and smoothes lip contours. I also love the 3-in-1 Vine Active Moisturizer; it's a daily essential that's perfect for protecting your skin, leaving it hydrated and glowing. It's perfect for all skin types, too.



No matter how you're celebrating Mother's Day, I hope it's a day full of love for you!

Disclaimer: I have received the products listed in this post for review and/or compensation. All views and opinions are my own, and I only work with companies I love.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Show Your Heart For Maternal Health

On Mother's Day, I always like to reflect back to the happy days when I was pregnant with my two boys. Both experiences were wonderful and life-changing for me. I had easy pregnancies, where I was able to enjoy the many benefits of pregnancy bliss—guilt-free eating, relaxing, and just embracing my natural glow while watching my belly grow. I had relatively easy deliveries with my children, and I was surrounded by family, and supportive doctors and nurses.

Mother's Day is a perfect time to remind ourselves that safe, easy pregnancies and childbirth are not always the case. Every day, more than 800 women around the world die from pregnancy or childbirth related complications. When I heard this high number, it astounded me. How can this still be the case?  I'm so honoured to be supporting ADRA Canada and standing up for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH) this month.

MNCH is one of the most common acronyms used in discussions about global health, but many of us here in Canada haven't heard of it because in this great country of ours, access to health care and nutrition ensures MNCH deficiencies are the exception—and not the norm. However, in other parts of the world, MNCH is a major concern as maternal and child mortality rates are unacceptably high.

This Mother's Day, ADRA Canada—part of the world-wide ADRA network—is working hard to end extreme poverty in some of the poorest communities in the world, and calling on Canadians to show their heart for maternal health by helping raise much-needed awareness through social media.

The Show your Heart for Maternal Health campaign encourages Canadians to raise awareness for MNCH by sharing a picture or video of your hands places over your belly button in the shape of a heart, and using the hashtag #Heart4MaternalHealth.


"Pregnancy is a time for full hearts and joy, but because of poor maternal health in developing countries and remote communities, it often ends in heartbreak," says James Astleford, Executive Director of ADRA Canada.

The most significant causes of maternal and child mortality in developing countries are high rates of acute and chronic malnutrition of mothers and children. By increasing awareness of MNCH among Canadians, we are sending a message of hope and support—encouraging more Canadians to take action.

Show Your Heart For Maternal Health is part of ADRA Canada's EMBRACE project—a four-year initiative primarily funded by the Government of Canada.

Show your Heart for Maternal Health is designed to develop a deeper understanding of global MNCH in Canada and to drive involvement of Canadians. Nearly all maternal and child deaths are preventable and by helping to improve MNCH, we can help save lives. You can participate in this worthwhile campaign until the end of May.




Disclaimer: I am working in partnership with this organization and have received compensation to raise awareness for this worthwhile cause. All views and opinions are my own.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Spring Cleaning With Pine-Sol

Now that spring is in the air, it's time to spring clean the house. I love everything about spring–yes, even cleaning. It's so refreshing to finally be able to keep the windows open all day long, and I love spring because we're one step closer to my favourite season of all–summer!

Spring cleaning for me means doing some major de-cluttering of every room in the house, and making room in my closet for all the spring clothes I'm going to buy. It also means deep cleaning my house–the kitchen, the bathrooms, the bedrooms, and the living room and dining room. I love using Pine-Sol because it works so well on so many different surfaces. It's basically one powerful cleaner that can tackle even the toughest of jobs.

Pine-Sol sent me their brand new multi-surface cleaner in the new Spring Blossom scent, and I love it. This new Pine-Sol smells so delicious... and so very spring-like. The bottle is pink and the smell? A mix of Jasmine, Magnolia, and Orange Blossom. The house feels and looks fresh and clean, and well... perfectly ready for spring.


The next time you're shopping for your cleaning supplies, make sure you pick up the new Pine-Sol Spring Blossom. It's the perfect solution to cleaning most rooms in your house, and it'll leave your home smelling deliciously fresh and clean, too. 

Thanks, Pine-Sol!

Disclaimer: I received compensation and product for my Pine-Sol Spring Blossom review. All views and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Getting Healthy From The Inside Out With Align

Now that spring is here it's time to start thinking seriously about getting back in shape and healthy again, if you happened to have not stuck to a regular program during the long winter months. Hey, I get it–sometimes, it can be hard when it's so cold outside all you want to do is snuggle up on the couch with some not-so-healthy snacks. Although I try to keep working out daily and eating healthy part of my lifestyle routine throughout the year, I take it easy when it's not so nice outside; I still ski, and spend some times outside, but going to the gym tends to not happen every day. However, now that warmer days are coming, it's much more motivating to get my sweat on at the gym on a daily basis, and eat well.

Along with eating well and working out, I take a daily multivitamin and a probiotic supplement, Align. If you're not too familiar with Align, let me help you out: it's the number one gastroenterologist recommended probiotic, and it helps relieve and manage symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Even if you don't have IBS, it's such a great product to include in your daily health care routine because it helps with abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloating. The capsules contain Bifidobacterium 35624 TM, a patented probiotic strain.



Since April was IBS Awareness Month, I thought it would be a fitting time to talk about all the things we can do to stay on top of our health, from the inside out—1 in 7 Canadians suffer with IBS and it's more common than people think. I love that you can take Align every day along with your vitamins to provide ongoing relief of IBS symptoms, and it really helps your body adjust and makes you feel better.

We all lead busy lives, with work, children, extra-curricular activities, our social life, travel, and more–when we're busy and stressed, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves as well as we should. Stress can disrupt your natural healthy intestinal flora, and a probiotic can helps take care of that in a simple way.


Here are some ways you can kick-start your summer health care routine:


1. Get your rest. Believe it or not, sleep does a body well. I don't sleep as well as I should, because I go to bed past midnight every day, and wake up at 6 a.m., but I know the more sleep-eye I get, the better it'll be for my health.


2. Exercise. Just do it. Whether you're thinking of starting a new gym or running outside, there is no time like the present to start making working out every day a part of your life. No excuses–there is always time in the day to get your sweat on. I love doing cycle classes and a barre class several times a week Mixed in swimming, weights, and walks when the weather is nice, and it's easy to stay fit, and feel and look great.


3. Take a Probiotic. Adding a probiotic supplement like Align to your daily routine, even if you don't have IBS, can help contribute to a natural healthy intestinal flora. We all suffer from gas and bloating from time to time, and Align helps you body feel great by providing ongoing relief of these symptoms.


4. Eat well. It's easier than you think! Always stock up on fruits and vegetables when you're at the grocery store, include plenty of protein in your diet every day, and make sure to eat your greens. Once you start eating well, your'll feel so good you won't even be tempted by cupcakes anymore. (Of course, everything in moderation is also another good rule I stick by).


5. Enjoy the little things. Make sure you're surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, who are positive influences, and who make you laugh. Staying positive and happy will make you glow from within, and it also helps improve your health.

These are some ways you can feel and look better, from the inside out, in time for summer.







Disclosure: I created this post as a paid ambassador for Align Probiotic. All opinions and advice are my own and I only work with companies I genuinely love and have used prior to be being contacted. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Putting Dermablend Professional To The Test

I always love trying new make-up, and when I was asked to review the Dermablend Professional  line, I quickly said yes. I have been looking for a new foundation for a while, and thought it was the perfect opportunity to try this make-up because of all the great things I kept hearing from other beauty product lovers like myself.

Dermablend Professional lets you decide how much you want to cover up when you're applying your make-up, and with their easy to use online 'shade selector', you can make sure you're choosing the colours that are right for your skin tone. Dermablend Professional is powerful make-up anyone can use, created by a dermatologist. These products provider excellent coverage and they are dermatologist and allergy-tested. They're also fragrance-free—perfect for those with sensitive skin.


Here are the products I put to the test and loved:

Dermablend Professional Smooth Liquid Camo Foundation: This medium cover liquid foundation helps even out your skin tone and provides seamless camouflage, while easily blending into the skin for a natural look, leaving your skin with an ultra-smooth finish. (This product retails for $42 at select drug stores).

Dermablend Professional Concealer: This is a medium coverage liquid foundation that's perfect for covering up spots that need covering up, and helping reduce the appearance of dark under eye circles. It's a seamless concealer that provides an ultra-smooth finish. (This product retails for $27 at select drug stores).

Dermablend Professional Intense Powder Camo: I love a great powder that helps reduce shine and lasts all day long. This product delivered the results I wanted, giving my skin a smooth, natural finish. The best part is you can select the exact shade that is perfect for your skin, so it looks flawless once it's applied. I love that it eliminates shine all day long.  (This product retails for $38 at select drug stores).

Dermablend Professional Loose Setting Powder: This loose powder is perfect for setting your make-up. It reinforces wearability for up to 16 hours of consistent colour wear that is smudge-proof and transfer resistant. (This product retails for $34 at select drug stores).

No matter what your skin tone is, Dermablend Professional really has you covered. There's nothing greater than feeling good in your own skin.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Stay At The Hazelton Hotel And Fall In Love With Yorkville

One of my favourite places to stay at is The Hazelton Hotel. I have written about this property before, because I've had the pleasure of being hosted at this gorgeous luxury boutique hotel several times, and with each visit, I fall in love even more–though all my visits have been perfection. I love the location, right in the heart of Yorkville. Surrounded by great restaurants, galleries, and shops, you'll always have something to do... and plenty to shop. I love the Anthropologie and Free People store down the street. There's also many fine luxury boutiques as well as Pottery Barn Kids, Holt Renfrew, and more. 

The hotel itself is beautiful, modern, and incredibly luxurious. The rooms and suites are spacious, and the balconies overlooking Yorkville are lovely, especially in the spring and summer. The bathrooms are what I love most; especially the heated floors, the in-mirror television, and the oversized bathtub. 

The best thing about The Hazelton Hotel is the service. The attention to detail and the personalized care are what makes this hotel unique. Whatever you need, the hotel will provide you: car service, dinner reservations, 24-hour in-room dining, personal chef, child care, airport transfers, flower arrangements, and more. 

The Spa at The Hazelton is also highlight for me. From pedicures to full-body scrubs and massages, you'll leave feeling amazingly relaxed and looking your best... and hopefully hungry, because you're going to want to check out ONE restaurant, especially if you're a foodie.  The menu options are delicious, from appetizers to dessert.  






Of course, The Hazelton Hotel is the place to be seen during TIFF–you'll always see a celebrity or two coming in and out of the front doors, and there is always something going on in Yorkville that makes a stay there memorable. 

Here are just a few upcoming events in Yorkville:

  • Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival, is taking place between April 27th to May 7th, and over 200 films from across the world will be featured. The Bloor-Yorkville BIA is a Silver Sponsor and a Community Partner of this great film festival and Yorkville will be the hottest place to be during the festival. Book your dinner reservations at ONE now. 
  • The 7th Annual Yorkville Exotic Car Show is taking place on Sunday, June 18th–the perfect way to celebrate Father's Day! You'll be able to get up close and personal with over 120 classic exotic cars, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and so much more.
  • The Yorkville Village Summer Market, taking place in the outdoor courtyard of Yorkville Lanes will run every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from June 7th to August 30th–the perfect opportunity to pick up some of the best food Toronto has to offer including local produce and freshly baked goods as well as cheeses and wine. 
And there is more to come, too–stay turned to find out more about what exciting events are coming up in Yorkville this summer and fall!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

SupperWorks: Helping Busy People Eat Well

We all lead busy lives, and sometimes, meal planning can be a bothersome chore, especially if you're someone like me—a person who doesn't love spending countless hours in the kitchen preparing dinner. Yet, we all need to eat, so what's the perfect solution?

Thankfully I have Greek parents and in-laws who cook and drop off dinner for my family. (This is one reason I don't cook enough—or at least that's my excuse). However, this is not every day, so what's the other solution? SupperWorks.


My friends have been raving about SupperWorks for a long time, and I was finally given the opportunity to attend an Ottawa bloggers night to put SupperWorks to the test. It was a fun night with a great group of bloggers, as we all put together yummy meals to take home to our families, wine and appetizers in hand. I left with six servings of Beautiful Baja Fish Wraps, six servings of Glowing Goddess Quinoa Veggie Wraps, and a 4-Cheese and Garlic Crusted Chicken Breast for one—the perfect and healthy meal to eat for lunch when I'm at work. (The food, by the way? So delicious!).




SupperWorks was created by two passionate moms who came up with a simple solution for the meal time scramble: Provide recipes, ingredients, and a space for people to go and prepare home-cooked, nutritious, freezable meals, without the hassle of preparing them every day. The menu changes monthly, too, so you always have something new to try.

With two jobs, two children, and a million things on the go, going somewhere where all the time consuming work is already done for me—the washing, the chopping, and the clean-up—is time well spent. All I had to do was prepare my meals by following the simple instructions, and that's it. I prepared two meals in one hour—saving time and money.

Here's what else I love about SupperWorks:

  • You'll only find premium-quality, restaurant-grade meats and produce at SupperWorks, including plenty of fresh, local food.
  • You can have pick-up your meals if you're pressed for time, and you can even have your meals delivered.
  • SupperWorks is great for singles and couples, as well, as you can make meals that suit your lifestyle.
  • SupperWorks is the only meal assembly franchise in North America that's Canadian owned and operated, with ten locations across Ontario, including three in Ottawa—in Kanata, Nepean, and Orleans.

If you haven't had the chance to try SupperWorks yet, I suggest you go. You'll be as amazed as I was at how quickly healthy meals can come together in a fun environment. And you'll leave with dinner your entire family will love. Thank you for the great night, SupperWorks!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It's The Little Things That Count

You know the saying "it's the little things that count?" I find that's true for most things in life. The most meaningful gifts always come from the heart, and for me, that's usually a hand-written note from my children I'll treasured forever. It's the call or email to a friend at an important time, the hug when you need it most, and the small things we do along the way for the people we love–and for the world around us. It doesn't take much to make small changes that will have a lasting, positive impact for our environment. It's always a good idea to show our children the things we can do every day to help the world around us, starting from inside the home.

Sometimes I do several loads of laundry a week–it feels endless at times! (Is it like that for you, too?).  Even when doing laundry, we can be kind to the environment. I love that Tide understands the importance of getting my family's clothes clean, in a sustainable way, without sacrificing the results.

Tide has taken an important step toward a more sustainable future by creating Tide purclean. Tide purclean is the first plant-based detergent with the cleaning power of Tide we all love. Tide understands the best way to help create a more sustainable future is to make the products we use every day more environmentally friendly.


A great way to celebrate Earth Day is to make small changes to your laundry habits that will make a big difference to the environment and to you family. You can even pledge to take the Sustainable Laundry Pledge by visiting Tide.ca.

What's the pledge? It's simple!

Pledge on Twitter to make a positive impact on the planet by washing with cold water, using an energy-saving HE washer and quick cycle, and extend clothing life through care.

For every pledge that Tide gets between now and Earth Day (April 22nd), Tide purclean will donate $5 to WWF Canada's Count For Nature campaign, up to $15,000.

Isn't this a fantastic initiative?

I've been using Tide purclean for almost a year now, and here's why I love it:
  • The clothes I wash–even my children's dirty clothes from hours of playing outside–get as clean as they would if I were using Tide Original. The results? Perfectly clean clothes and no more stains! (This product works jus as well in in cold water–bonus!). 
  • Tide purclean is 65% renewable, plant-based ingredients, suitable for my entire family's laundry, and safe and gentle enough for a baby's load of laundry, too. 
  • It's free of dyes, chlorine, phosphates, ethanolamine and optical brighteners, and the Unscented version is free of perfumes. 
  • Tide purclean is HE-Compatible, and works in all machines.
  • The Unscented version is great if people are especially sensitive; but my favourite Tide purclean is Honey Lavender; a floral scent of lavender, jasmine, and orange flower with amber woods.
Take the #CleanPledge and feel good about what you're doing for the environment, this Earth Day, and every day. It really is the little things we do every day that'll end up making the biggest difference for our earth, and for our children's future.




Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated by Tide. All views and opinions are my own. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hop Into Spring With Kellogg's Rice Krispies (And Win An Easter Basket Full Of Treats!)

Spring is in the air, and Easter is only days away. I'm not an excellent baker, but there a few things I'm great at making for special occasions, like carrot cake with delicious cream cheese icing, and Rice Krispies Squares. I know, I know, even children can make Rice Krispies Squares, but there is an art to making these delicious treats–like making sure you use the right amount of marshmallows and butter to mix with the Rice Krispies. (Otherwise, they'll come out really hard... not that I'm speaking from experience or anything... ahem).

This Easter, you can put a spring in your step by visiting Yummy Recipes–Special Occasions section on www.ricekrispies.ca, and the Rice Krispies Canada Pinterest page at pinterest.com/ricekrispiesca/ for treat making inspiration. You can also follow Rice Krispies on Twitter at RiceKrispiesCA and Instagram at RiceKrispies_CA.

To make things even sweeter for you this Easter, I'm giving away a basket of delicious goodies from Rice Krispies that your entire family will love, including the new Spring Edition Kellogg's Rice Krispies Cereal and Rice Krispies Square Bars. To enter to win, just leave me a comment below telling me how you're celebrating Easter–or the long weekend! I'll pick a winner randomly on April 13th, so make sure you leave your email address in your comment. 


Happy Easter, everyone!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Taking Care Of Your Skin With CeraVe's Skin Renewing Line


To ensure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

What's your beauty routine? As a beauty blogger, there is nothing I won't try (as long as it's safe for my skin). I have my favourite go-to skin-care products that are part of my every day routine, morning and night—and I take my skin-care routine seriously, especially because I am not getting any younger.

Some products work amazingly well on my skin, where I instantly see results like more hydration, and firmer skin. Surprisingly, the products I love—the products that work best on my skin—are not the most expensive products on the market; in fact, most of my favourites can be picked up at the drug store. Sometimes, we're under the impression the more fancy the product, the better it is—and that's only true when we're talking about designer handbags!

When I was younger I didn't put much thought into my skin-care routine, and I know there were things I did that were damaging for my skin, like way too much sun exposure, using tanning beds, and not sleeping enough. Although I'm now a mom of two, getting my beauty rest is important to me and my skin. I love products that work when I'm sleeping, so I wake up feeling and looking refreshed.



The new CeraVe Skin Renewing products—the CeraVe Skin Renewing Cream Serum and CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream—work incredibly well on my skin and work when I'm sleeping, too. These products give you amazing results at an affordable price. I love how hydrating these products are; as we transition from winter to spring, we need the extra moisture to help us get over the damaging effects of the harsh weather we are leaving behind for sunnier, warmer days.

You can follow CeraVe Canada on Facebook and join their Dermatologist led  #DermWednesday Questions and Answers sessions to get skin advice, to find out more about their products, and how to take better care of your skin.

Here's why I love and trust CeraVe:
  • All CeraVe cleansers and moisturizers contain unique skin care benefits with three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and replenish vital lipids in the skin's natural protective moisture barrier.
  • CeraVe is recommended by dermatologists and their products are developed with ongoing consultations with dermatologists.
  • CeraVe Skin Renewing Cream Serum is an anti-aging product that contains an encapsulated retinol complex that is great for sensitive skin, and helps improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream is an anti-aging product that contains two biomimetic peptides that help improve skin cell turnover and elasticity, and it is designed to work at night in synergy with skin's circadian rhythm, when skin is more receptive.
As you start getting ready for spring and all the wonderful things to come, make sure to pick up the newest products by CeraVe to give your skin the extra TLC it needs. You will be so satisfied with the results!

Disclaimer: This post has been generously sponsored by Valeant Canada LP. All views and opinions are my own.

Step Into Spring With Stella And Dot And Win a $50 Gift Card

Now that spring is in the air, it's time to to start shopping and making room in our closet for colourful dresses, wedge-heeled sandals, and fun accessories that can take your outfits from day to night effortlessly. 

I love changing up my outfits with fun accessories, from sunglasses to necklaces and bracelets–and there's no better way to add cute and stylish pieces to your wardrobe than by shopping Stella and Dot. Whether you've hosted a Stella and Dot party or just attended one, I'm sure you've left with quite the haul–and it's so easy to do, because everything is so affordable... and super cute!



I love the huge selection of necklaces, bracelets, and rings Stella and Dot offers. And no matter your style, you'll always find something you love for yourself, or to gift to a friend. (And, bonus: if you host a Stella and Dot party, you're guaranteed to score some beautiful pieces for yourself at no cost). A night in with your favourite girlfriends, some wine, and fabulous jewellery is always a great idea.

To help you welcome spring back into your life, I'm giving away a $50 Stella and Dot gift card so you can choose something that's perfect for you to wear this season. 

Just leave me a comment telling me what you're looking forward to this season and I'll pick a winner randomly on April 12th.

Good Luck!

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