Six Wines Perfect For Spring Entertaining

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Warmer days are here again, and I couldn't be happier. With only a month left of school, we are already getting into summer-mode at home, making the most of our evenings with bike rides, soccer games, and swimming.


This season, it's all about making the most of our time outside—and hosting friends and family for backyard BBQ's. Tis the season, after all.


If you're not sure what to serve, perhaps start with a wine menu to set the tone and select the food after you've figured out the drinks.


Here are six wines perfect for entertaining this season:


Think pink! E&J Gallo White Zinfandel is an excellent choice. This refreshingly sweet wine is even yummier when you mix it with soda water, and garnish it with fresh berries. It's a perfect spring cocktail to enjoy in the sunshine, and a beautiful drink to serve your guests as they arrive.


Get your grill on. With grilling season upon us, having a delicious red wine like Alamos Malbec is a must for your wine rack—this red from Argentina has easily become one of my favourite red wines. It's not too heavy, and pairs well with food you're serving on the BBQ. (Try it with grilled burgers and rib-eye steak—delicious!).


Drink your dessert. I don't know about you, but I definitely try to skip heavy dessert when I'm in my bikini! Instead of serving a traditional dessert, end your meal with a glass of chilled Barefoot Moscato. This wine goes well with fresh fruit (my favourite summertime dessert) and cream for a simple and delicious treat.


Warm days, cool drinks. If you're too hot for red, go with white. A light, delicious white wine I love is Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc—a must for spring and summer. This is a dry, crisp wine from New Zealand, and pairs nicely with grilled fish and salads. The perfect white wine to sip as days get longer and warmer.


Cheers! There is always a reason to celebrate, so you should always have a delicious bottle of La Marca Prosecco ready to toast for those everyday moments worth celebrating. (Last day of school, upcoming vacation, work milestone, birthday, anniversary, girls night... you get the idea!). This Prosecco from Italy is a nice drink to enjoy along with some salty foods, like nuts or kettle chips.


Simple elegance. Although spring and summer makes me think cheerful and light, a more premium wine like Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County is an elegant choice to serve at your dinner parties this season. It's a beautifully balanced wine with dark fruit and a flourish of spice that pairs nicely with pasta dishes.




However you're celebrating this season, enjoy—and cheers to warmer days and summer nights with the people you love.




Disclaimer: I received bottles of wine to review for my post. All views and opinions are my own.

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To Mom With Love: A Mother's Day Tea

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Are you looking for something fun to do this weekend in honour of Mother's Day? This Saturday, May 12th, Koyman Galleries in Ottawa is hosting a special Mother's Day art show featuring the latest art work from local artist Katerina Mertikas–my mom. 




Enjoy a tea and special treats while browsing the two-floor, open-space gallery, while looking at the beautiful pieces of art. 

If you're stuck on what to buy your mom this year, might I suggest a beautiful new piece of original art? I love the idea of buying gifts that never lose their value, gifts that can be enjoyed for years to come, and gifts that can be passed down, to the people I love. 

The art show begins May 12th, and Katerina Mertikas will be present during the show. If you can't make it that day, not to worry–the art show runs until May 28th. 

Happy Mother's Day! 
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Club InterContinental Toronto Centre

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We drove through five hours of pouring rain as the ice storm was starting on our drive to Toronto last weekend, to experience the renovated Club InterContinental. Although the weather was less than perfect, Club InterContinental definitely made up for that–especially with the very sweet welcome we received to our room upon arrival.


We had the pleasure of staying in one of the newly renovated suites, and enjoyed the sophisticated decor in our spacious room. A large bedroom, a separate living room with a very comfortable pull-out couch, two bathrooms (with Aveda products) and beautiful views of downtown Toronto, including the CN Tower, made our stay here memorable and enjoyable. (We also enjoyed the in-room dining, and were so pleased with the options and quality of food).

"The renovation of Club Intercontinental has been a very special project for the hotel," says General Manager, Alex Hakim. "It was important to provide our business and leisure guests with a luxurious and comfortable environment. We offer a vast amount of exclusive amenities and services at the Club InterContinental, allowing our hotel guests to feel at home with an extra touch of sophistication." 

Guests staying on a Club level floor can enjoy complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, as well as afternoon tea, evening hors d'oeuvres, (you can expect food like sliders, pizza, chips, salsa, guac, salad, fresh bread, and so much more) and all-day refreshments. All this can be enjoyed on the eighth floor, next to the Club Library, where you can relax in one of the plush chairs and couches, while browsing through a selection of magazines and newspapers. (The Club Lounge has some amazing Nespresso machines, too!).


When you stay at Club InterContinental, you can avoid the hustle and bustle of the main lobby and check-in privately on the eighth floor. Also included during your stay is complimentary pressing of two pieces of clothing, and personalized private shopping experiences for many fine retailers in Toronto, with limousine drop-off service downtown.

When you're not enjoying the Club Lounge and the delicious food, make sure you visit the third floor swimming pool–my youngest son loved the large pool, and the hot tub. There is also a luxurious spa on the third floor, where you can treat yourself to a facial, massage, manicure or pedicure.


If you're travelling to Toronto this spring or summer, either for business of pleasure, make sure you stay at the InterContinental Toronto Centre, connected to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The hotel combines affordable luxury, an ideal location, fine dining at Azure Restaurant and Bar, spa treatments, and great service.

Thank you for making our stay so wonderful, InterContinental Toronto!

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Rediscover The Diplomat Beach Resort (And My Latest Article In Canadian Geographic Travel Magazine)

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It's no secret that my family loves the Diplomat Beach Resort. We had the incredible pleasure of staying in their newly renovated property a few months ago, getting the chance to rediscover this iconic beach resort after its $100 million renovation.

I wrote about our recent stay in Canadian Geographic Travel Magazine. To find out more about my most recent stay, you can read my article here.


Everything we love about this resort has stayed the same; the oceanfront balcony views, the infinity and lagoon-style pools, the many delicious dining options, and the friendly service. Our ocean front corner suite was just perfect, and so spacious.


If you're looking for the perfect, family-friendly vacation spot a short plane ride away, where you'll instantly feel like you're a million miles from home, basking in the hot south Florida sun, look no further than the Diplomat Beach Resort. It's paradise. From the many incredible dining options, like Monkitail, and the spacious airy lobby, this resort is amazing.


Thank you once again, Diplomat Beach Resort, for welcoming us back, and making us feel at home. With each visit, we fall in love even more and can't wait to return.

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Ottawa Fury FC Home Opener Ticket Giveaway

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You guys, spring is in the air! Well, not today, since we're recovering from that crazy April ice storm, but I can just feel it... this weekend calls for sunny skies and temps in the double digits. How exciting is that? Pretty exciting, but not as exciting as the fact that it's the home opener game for our very own Ottawa Fury FC! They'll be taking on North Carolina, and I can't wait to see our team in action again.

I had so much fun attending Fury games last year at TD Place with my children, nieces and nephew–it's always a blast, and a perfect outing for the entire family.

I'll be working closely with the Ottawa Fury FC this year promoting the games, doing some Instagram takeovers, and giving away tickets to soccer fans.


I'm giving away a family four pass to this weekend's home opener, too! If you love soccer and want to cheer on the city's only professional soccer club, just leave me a comment below telling me why you're looking forward to watching the Ottawa Fury FC play this year. I'll pick a winner randomly on Friday, April 20th. (The game takes place this Saturday at 2 p.m. at TD Place).

Can't wait to watch the Fury turn up the heat this weekend at TD Place.

Good Luck!
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Discovering The Charming Village Of Manotick

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I love exploring new places near my city. I was a little familiar with Manotick, but I didn't know just how much this village had to offer. Manotick–Objibway for "Island in the River"–is a quaint little village 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa, and less, if you live in Ottawa's south end.

There is so much to discover in Manotick, including Watson's Mill, an 1860's grist and flour mill on the Rideau River. This working industrial heritage site is a wonderful place to visit with the family, where you can watch weekly flour grinds on Sunday's, and leave with a bag or two of fresh flour.

You can also head to the Watson's Mill Manotick Spring Craft Market taking place May 18th-19th, the perfect time to enjoy all spring has to offer while shopping unique items from local businesses.


There are over 125 unique and locally-owned shops in Manotick, restaurants that are some of the best in and around the Ottawa area, street front cafes, and plenty of small businesses to support.

I was given the opportunity to work with the village of Manotick to review some of their businesses, including Allure Hair Design and Spa, Mill Street Florist, and Black Dog Bistro. I loved all three businesses and would recommend anyone visiting Manotick check out these spots for themselves, too.

Allure Hair Design and Spa

As someone who gets her hair done at a salon a few times a week,  I was especially excited to try Allure Hair Design and Spa . This salon is located in a beautifully renovated building on Mill Street in Manotick, with a full-service hair salon on the main level, and a spa on the second floor, where you can enjoy a variety of services, including waxing, lash extensions, facials, microdermabrasion, reiki massage, botox, and make-up application.

Whether you're looking for a new set of highlights, a hair cut, or a fresh blow-dry, the staff at Allure Hair Design and Spa is experienced and very friendly. I touched up my blonde highlights and got a fresh blow-dry. The colour was exactly what I wanted, and the blow-dry left my hair looking full, shiny and fabulous. I can't wait to be back to try their other services.




Mill Street Florist

There's nothing lovelier than having fresh flowers in the home, no matter the season. I love having fresh flowers in my house all year, especially during the long winter months, so I can be reminded of warmer, sunnier days. On a dreadfully winter-like day in April, fresh fragrant flowers in the house is a lovely thing.

Mill Street Florist in Manotick is a delightful flower shop offering the widest selection of fresh cut flowers in Ottawa. This European style floral boutique has so many beautiful flowers to choose from, deciding what flowers to add to your arrangement can be a little difficult; however, the friendly, helpful staff makes the process easy and fun. Whether you're shopping for flowers for a birthday, wedding, or an anniversary celebration, it's worth a drive to Miss Street Florist. From timeless and classic, to tropical and zen, there is something here for everyone to fall in love with.

How stunning is the flower arrangement Mill Street Florists put together for me? This was such a beautiful flower arrangement in my home! 




Black Dog Bistro

Black Dog Bistro is a restaurant I've heard about time and time again, yet never experienced until recently–and I'm so glad I had the chance to review this restaurant with my husband and our friends.

Voted Ottawa's favourite restaurant by Faces Magazine in 2016, it's easy to see why everyone who dines here loves it. If you love beer, there is plenty on tap; if you're more of a wine lover like I am, there is an extensive wine menu. The food, however, is what I loved most; especially because of the fresh, local ingredients used. The freshly baked warm rolls with caramelized butter was a huge hit, and my filet mignon (with a side of scalloped potatoes and vegetables) was one of the best steaks I have ever had. It's an intimate, cosy restaurant, with a large patio, making it the perfect place to dine with friends on a summer day. From the service to the excellent, tasty food, Black Dog Bistro is just as excellent as I expected it would be.


I will be visiting the village of Manotick again, as soon as the weather improves so I can explore more of what makes Manotick so unique. There is still so much to discover.

Thank you so much, Manotick Village, for introducing me to so many great new establishments so close to home.

Disclaimer: I partnered with Manotick BIA to review Allure Hair Design and Spa, Black Dog Bisto, and Mill Street Florists. I have received compensation for this post. All views and opinions are my own. 
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Feel Sexy and Stylish With Swimco Swimwear

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How do you feel about shopping for swimwear? For some, it can be a less-than-pleasurable experience. I personally love shopping for swimwear because it means I'm heading towards water—and nothing makes me happier than swimming in the ocean or a pool. Going on vacation, especially in the winter, makes me excited—and so does finding the perfect swimsuit to wear while I'm enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. I feel confident in my body, and love wearing bikinis and one-piece suits. I believe there is a perfect suit for everyone, and that everybody should have the confidence to wear what they feel great in when they're on vacation. (And all the time, really).



I love being a Brand Ambassador for Swimco because they carry so many swimsuit brands. I quickly found out that shopping for swimwear online with Swimco is an easy and fun experience, because of the wide variety of suits they carry, and because of the excellent customer service.

Swimco is a Canadian retailer based out of British Columbia with stores across Canada, including three new stores in Ontario (Mississauga, London, and Hamilton, to be exact). The three-generations family operated business focuses on product fit and body confidence. There is a suit at Swimco for every single body, and I guarantee you will find a suit you love once you're finished shopping with them, either online or in-store. 


The stores have trained Fit Experts (they have these experts ready to chat with you online, as well) that will help you find the perfect suit. Their goal? Make every body "feel good half naked." Swimco carries only the best fitting suits, with a focus on style, fashion, and trends that are wearable. With over 150 brands, (the choices are endless!) you're certain to find the one (or two, or three) suit that is perfect for you.

I found my new favourite bikini from Swimco, as well as a sexy one-piece bathing suit with cut-outs that I had to have in three colours—black, turquoise, and blue. You'll find more than just swimwear at Swimco, too—they sell adorable beach hats, towels, beach bags, goggles, wraps, and cover-ups. Basically, everything you need for your tropical vacation down south.

I love my new swimsuits from Swimco and adore my pom-pom beach hat. Here is a travel tip for you: if you want to pack your wide-brimmed hat in your suitcase, just stuff the top part with smaller items of clothing (like your bikinis) and pack around the hat. Happy travels!


Thank you, Swimco—I always love working with you!
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The Sweetest Gifts To Give For Valentine's Day

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Valentine's Day is such a sweet occasion to celebrate, don't you think?  I love doing something sweet with my boys on Valentine's Day, and celebrating with my husband later in the evening (and on the weekend when things slow down a little).

Giving a sweet gift for Valentine's Day doesn't have to be complicated.

Here are some great Valentine's Day gift ideas I featured on Daytime Ottawa:

Ebay

I'm sure you know online shopping is sweet because it's easy and convenient, but did you know 3/4 of eBay.ca sellers are Canadian, and 80 percent of what is sold is brand new?

I partnered with eBay.ca for Valentine's Day and found some truly amazing products that would make the perfect gift for this occasion, like the new Adidas Stella McCartney Sonic Solar Red Running Shoes, retailing for $130, Valentino Valentina Eau de Parfum, $76, and a beautiful Cluse La Boheme watch, selling for $86. Fragrance and jewellery are the perfect gifts to give for Valentine's Day, and a new pair of running shoes will make any fitness lover excited.




All these products are new and ship quickly to your location so it's stress-free shopping from eBay. eBay provides endless gift-giving inspiration and access to unique Valetine's Day gifts for everyone in your life. Visit eBay.ca/valentines for more gift-giving ideas. 

Chapters-Indigo

Shopping at Chapters-Indigo is the best. We love going for the books, but Chapters-Indigo is really your one-stop shop for everything—for any and every occasion. I love the selection of gift-giving items they have, from bags to scarves to candles to home décor items. There are endless ideas at Chapters-Indigo, and you can even shop indigo.ca. I love the decorative pillows, mugs, reading socks, journals, and pens—all make great ideas to gift to someone you love (or keep for yourself!) this Valentine's Day.




Sugarfina

All you need is candy for Valentine's Day, right? Sugarfina makes adorable Candy Bento Boxes, and you can even design your own XOXO eight piece box to give to a friend or lover. I love these boxes so much and the candy is delicious. You can shop Sugarfina at Nordstrom Ottawa and at Sugarfina stores near you.


Purdy's Chocolates

Chocolate is always a good idea, even on Valentine's Day, especially if it's good, quality chocolate from Purdy's. Purdy's is Canadian (from beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia) and Purdy's uses only 100% sustainable cocoa. I love all the pretty boxes and selections of chocolate available for Valentine's Day, and making your own box filled with chocolate your favourite person loves the most is a great idea.


Elizabeth Arden

I'm a beauty lover, and I love makeup and skin care products from Elizabeth Arden. Giving the beauty lover in your life something luxurious from Elizabeth Arden is the perfect Valentine's Day gift. From the Prevage skin care line to the new eye shadow palettes, Elizabeth Arden will make any beauty lover smile this Valentine's Day.


Poppy and Peonies

The new Poppy and Peonies "Have my Heart" bag is the perfect accessory for Valentine's Day. This heart-shaped purse is adorable, fun, playful, and versatile. It retails for $89, converts into a cross-body with a removable strap, and comes with six credit card slots, a cell phone pocket, and a removable keychain you can use all year long.


With so many wonderful gift ideas to give (and receive) this Valentine's Day, don't forget the most important thing about the day is celebrating the ones you love. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!


XOXO


Disclaimer: I have partnered with Purdy's, Sugarfina, eBay, Poppy and Peonies and Chapters-Indigo for my Valentine's Day gift guide segment and post and have received product and/or compensation for my review. All views and opinions are my own.
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Make Your Galentine's Day Sparkle With La Marca Prosecco

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Valentine's Day is tomorrow, but today is all about celebrating the other important people in your life: your best friends! Yes, February 13th is Galentine's Day, and it's the perfect day to indulge in the things you love with your closest girlfriends.

A great way to celebrate Galentinen's Day? With some bubbly, of course! I love La Marca Prosecco for any occasion, and today calls for some bottle-popping for sure. This sparkly and elegant Italian Prosecco is delicious, affordable, and the perfect bubbly to elevate the everyday with a touch a luxury and sparkle. (And the bottle is oh-so-pretty, too!).

Here are five ways you can celebrate Galentine's Day with your best girls and La Marca Prosecco:

1. If you love savoury foods, ditch the sweet and switch to rich, salty appetizers. La Marca Prosecco pairs perfectly with olives, cheese, crab cakes and prosciutto. Yum!

2. Host a DIY night. Whether you make homemade terrariums, body scrubs, or bath bombs, find something fun you can all do together while sipping your Prosecco. And if you totally suck at DIY (like me) don't worry about it. Just have fun watching.

3. Host a secret Galentine's gift exchange. Instead of gifting the obvious selections like chocolates or flowers, give something unique like a book you know your girlfriends will love, gourmet gummies, or a scented candle.

4. Grab a bowl of popcorn and a glass of La Marca Prosecco and screen everyone's favourite fearless movie that features bold, strong women—like Clueless or Legally Blonde.

5. Treat your girlfriends to a Prosecco and Pedi's night. Whether you do this at home or at your local spa there is no better way to celebrate your friendship on Galentine's Day.

Enjoy your night celebrating the women (and men!) in your life.

Happy Galentine's Day!

Disclaimer: I have partnered with La Marca Prosecco and have received product for my review. All views and opinions are my own.
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Keeping Things Green With ReThink Tires

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Winter is my least favourite season of all. One thing I really dislike about it (besides the snow, cold, ice, and darkness) is the mess. As soon as we come inside and take off our boots, our entrance way is wet, with snow everywhere. Of course, stepping in puddles of slush is no fun, either.

I love simple solutions for keeping my entrance way looking as neat and clean as possible, since it's the first thing people see when they walk into my home. We have mirrored closet doors, hooks to hang up our coats, a neat shoe compartment from IKEA built on a wall, and now, thanks to Ontario Tire Stewardship, two products that make our entrance way cleaner.




Ontario Tire Stewardship is a not-for-profit organization championing waste diversion that works with a network of industry partners to collect and recycle used tired. OTS's Used Tires program has successfully diverted more than 100 million tires from landfills since 2009. The tires get safely recycled into new products, leading to hundreds of new jobs in this province, making communities more livable, and helping grow a green economy. 


I received the Traffic Master Scalloped Master Boot Tray– an essential product that holds all our boots so our floors aren't soaked with mud and slush anymore. The boot tray traps the wetness and dirt, and with its raised design, floors remain clean. It's also simple to clean, too.


Another product I received is the Traffic Master Recycled Rubber Floormat. I put this down in our entrance way, and it does the trick to keep things clean. It's durable and eco-friendly with a non-slip backing to reduce movement and help prevent accidents. Since it's weather-resistant and stain-resistant, this mat is ideal for outdoor use at the front door, patio, and garage in the summertime, too.



I love that the products I'm using have been made from recycled tires; besides being environmentally friendly, these products are also fire-resistant, long-lasting, durable and low-maintenance, and cost-effective. And every little bit we can do to help the environment is a good thing.



Visit RethinkTires.ca to see a wide variety of recycled rubber mats and other great products that will help keep your hallway clean–and say goodbye to puddles and wet socks. You can even drop off your old tires at a registered collector near you. If you're doing any home renovation projects,
RethinkTires.ca is a great resource for information on sustainable recycled tire products and projects, too.


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Ontario Tire Stewardship. I received compensation and products for my review. All views and opinions are my own. 
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Great Sleep Made Simple With Casper

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If you're looking for a mattress that's going to change your life and sleeping habits for the better, look no further than Casper. 

Casper, only a few years old, has become one of the most loved mattresses of all time and has basically revolutionized how people sleep–and shop–for mattresses. The bedroom is where the magic happens, after all.

We just completed our master bedroom renovations, (thanks to my husband for installing our new hardwood floors, painting the walls, assembling our new furniture, and putting together our Casper) and our bed is our favourite part of our new room.

Why do we love the Casper mattress so much? Simply put, it's the most comfortable bed we've ever slept on, and this includes all the wonderful beds we've experienced in all our favourite hotels.

Why is everyone obsessed with the Casper mattress? Here are just some reasons: 

1. The Casper mattress is comfortable. It's a perfect combination of a breathable, open-cell comfort layer and memory foam, offering incredible support, no matter your sleep position.

2. It's a hassle-free shopping experience. Casper conveniently ships to you in a compact-sized box, making it easy to transport up and down stairs. All you have to do is open the box, and your mattress is ready to go. Casper makes shopping simple and painless.

3. They have excellent customer service. All mattresses (as well as the Casper line of sheets, pillows, and duvets) come with a 100-night, risk-free trial.This means you can sleep on your sheets, relax on your new pillows, and try out your new mattress for 100 days and if you're not completely in love with it all (but you will be, trust me) they'll send over a courier and remove the products from your home and donate them to a local charity or have them recycled.

4. Casper foams are certified Certipur, which means they're ultra-low VOC and held to the highest environmental production standards. So there is no weird smell like some memory foam mattresses tend to have. It's perfect to sleep on from day one.

5. You'll sleep better. We went from a Queen to a King, and it was the best decision ever. But beyond the larger size of our bed, the Casper mattress makes sleeping more enjoyable because of the combination of pressure-relieving memory foam under a springy, breathable comfort layer. The top layer provides just enough sink, so you'll always feel fully supported by the pressure-relieving memory foam layer underneath.

6. You'll sleep cool. No more getting hot in the middle of the night. The Casper is designed to help you sleep cool, thanks to the open-cell top layer which uses convection and conduction to flow heat away from your body. Also, the memory foam layer leverages airflow to pull heat out of the top layer, leaving you cool and comfortable all night long.

7. They did their research. Casper mattresses are as comfortable as they because of the intensive research and continuous development from their San Francisco research and development team. Casper mattresses have received incredible praise from Consumer Reports, and Casper was named one of Time magazine's best inventions.

8. It's popular. And rightly so. Casper has quickly become one of the fastest growing consumer brands of all time.

9. The Casper mattress is backed by a 10-year warranty, so no matter what happens along the way, you know you're safe and protected.

10. They sell it all. Casper not only sells comfortable mattresses in all sizes, they sell the foundation and bed frame that also ship in compact boxes to your home, and are easy to assemble. (Super easy, in fact). The Casper foundation works like a standard box spring, and is engineered to provide excellent support under any mattress. As much as we love the mattress, sheet set (the fitted sheets are a dream, and the duvet is oh-so-cozy) their pillows are amazing, too. The Casper pillow-in-a-pillow is designed to stay supportive, cool, and comfortable all night long, regardless of sleeping position. It's got the perfect balance of squish and support. (The inner pillow is supportive, and the outer pillow adds a soft comfort).

After a lot of research, we decided that the Casper mattress was the perfect one for us. I'm so thankful I was given the opportunity to partner with Casper for my bedroom renovation. We could not be happier, and we recommend the Casper to all our friends, too, some of whom are in the market for a new mattress, as well.

With Casper, bedtime is that much more fun. And I'm suddenly getting more than five hours of sleep a night... imagine that!

I'd love for your try Casper, too. I have a promo code for you to use which will save you $75 off your new mattress. When you're checking out, just enter Loukia75 as your promo code. 



Sweet dreams!

Disclaimer: I have partnered with Casper on this review and have received a new mattress, bed frame, foundation, sheet set, pillows and a duvet in exchange for my honest review. All views and opinions are my own. 
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NABOB Coffee Prize Pack

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What's your morning routine like? If it's anything like mine, it's a little crazy. My children are up at the same time as me (super early in the morning, usually around 6 a.m.) and from that moment on, it's go-go-go until they're at school and I'm at work–where I finally get to enjoy my first cup of coffee. Weekends are a little more relaxed–I'm able to sip my coffee at home before we start the day.

I can't imagine life without coffee–I usually have about two to three cups a day (is that bad? Please tell me it's not bad). I love finding out that brands I love are giving back in great ways, and recently, NABOB partnered with Tree Canada to encourage Canadians to take the NABOB Pod Pledge.

For every Canadian that commits to recycling their NABOB pods, NABOB and Tree Canada will plant a tree in an area of need across Canada. So it's a win-win situation: you enjoy your coffee guilt-free and help give back to the environment at the same time! You can do your part by visiting NABOB.CA.

To help spread the good news, I'm giving away a package to three of you coffee-loving readers which includes NABOB coffee, a coffee traveler mug, a tree sapling to plant at home, and a sugar and cream set, valued at $100.


Just leave me a comment below telling me how you take your coffee and make sure to visit NABOB.ca to take the #NABOBPodPledge. I'll select my winners randomly on January 16th.

Good Luck!






Disclaimer: I have partnered with NABOB.ca and have received product and/or compensation for my post. All views and opinions are my own. 
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New Year, New You In 2018

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Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. Now that the new year has started, it's time to get serious about sticking to those resolutions. This year, it's all about eating right, getting your beauty sleep, working out, and taking care of your skin.

Here are some tips on how you can be your best self in 2018:

Eat Right

We all want to eat healthy. I know no one is counting calories in December, but now that January is here, it's time to get back to eating smart. As someone who is always on the go with two busy kids, this is an area I struggle with. Working downtown can make choosing a healthy lunch difficult, but luckily I work close to Mad Radish. This Ottawa-based restaurant has great plant-based options to make healthy eating simple, delicious, and nutritious. My favourite is their Smoky Caesar salad–with a twist. This salad includes romaine and kale, garlic-marinated chickpeas, and broccoli. Instead of parmesan cheese, it's topped with a tasty cashew "parmesan" and a creamy vegan dressing. It's so good–guaranteed to become your favourite, too.


Second Cup is one of my go-to coffee shops for my morning caffeine fix and I'm so glad they have introduced their new Clean Label beverages, eliminating artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup from all beverages on the menu–including latte's, cappuccino's, smoothies, and hot chocolate.

Whether you love cooking or not, having the right cookware and kitchen appliances can make a huge difference. I don't enjoy cooking, but I do love my new Paderno cookware, especially my Paderno frying pan. Paderno is also the only Canadian cookware manufacturer, 100 percent Canadian-made, and lasts for an eternity. You'll totally have a different outlook on cooking once you start using Paderno. (Available at Canadian Tire).



And if you're looking for new and easy to prepare recipes, check out The School Year Survival Cookbook. Guaranteed to make meal planning a breeze, even with a hectic lifestyle.

Get Your Beauty Sleep And Relax 

I usually don't get more than five hours of sleep a night; I'm a night owl, and am most awake after 10 p.m. Falling asleep after midnight and waking up at 6 a.m. can take a toll on a person after a while, though, so I'm determined to start sleeping earlier this year, because sleeping well actually helps with maintaining a healthy body and even helps with weight loss.

I'm so thrilled that I recently partnered with Casper, (full review coming soon!) and received an incredible king-sized bed for our newly renovated bedroom.  The Casper mattress is the most comfortable I've ever slept on. Casper,  much-loved mattress-in-a-box company, has become one of the fastest growing consumer brands of all time. Casper includes a full line of mattresses, bed frames, foundation, pillows, sheet sets, and duvets, all created by a team of engineers, researchers, and scientists.


The Casper mattress is available in six standard sizes, and backed by a 10-year warranty. It has supportive memory foam and a springy comfort layer that come together to create a perfect sleep surface. Casper’s foundation ships in a compact box just like the mattress and works like a standard box spring. It’s engineered to provide excellent support under any mattress. Casper’s metal bed fame is the perfect frame for your Casper foundation and mattress. We just added a head board and now we have the most perfect bed ever. 

The Casper pillow-in-a-pillow is designed to stay supportive, cool, and comfortable throughout the night, regardless of sleep position. With just the right balance of squish and support, the inner pillow is supportive, while the outer pillow adds a soft comfort. Fine, silky fibers allow the pillow to keep its perfect shape, finished with breathable percale cotton to sleep cool all night long. Total bliss!

Casper’s cotton percale sheets are crisp, smooth, and airy, and get softer with every wash. Constructed with the longest, finest threads on earth—pure Supima cotton grown in California. The breathable sheets sleeps cool all night long. For more information, visit Casper.com

To add to your bedroom bliss, get a nice new candle from Chapters-Indigo. I love the Mantra Poured Glass Candle in Calm–it smells so good! I love lighting candles in my bedroom at night. 

Another thing I love doing before bed is writing in a journal, and Chapters-Indigo has tons of great journals in all sorts of pretty colours. The Five Minute Journal is my personal favourite. And why not cosy up after a great workout with a throw? Again, Chapters-Indigo has tons of comfortable throws and blankets to toss over your couch or bed. 

Using essential oils in a great way to relax after a hard day. Thursday Plantation is a 100% pure essential oil brand, and these oils have hundred of uses with restorative properties to help you maintain your health and well-being. I love the Pure Eucalyptus Oil; this oil relieves joint and muscle pain, coughs, headaches, and colds, and even helps clean floors and kitchen counters. The Pure Lavender Oil help calm, soothe, and relax the body and mind, and also relieves joint and muscle pain, and helps relieve coughs, headaches, and colds. Thursday Plantation is available at Walmart, and Well.ca. 

Take Care Of Your Skin

Along with eating right, working out, and sleeping, having a good skin care routine is so important. I never go to bed without washing off my make-up and I love my morning and evening beauty routine. I love using Elizabeth Arden's Skin Renewal Booster, and their Probiotic Cleanser–it's perfect to use after a great sweat session, and leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed.

I also love using the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Wipes after my workouts. These awesome wipes remove all makeup, and cleans your skin while leaving it hydrated. And if you're looking for a great makeup remover, try the Garner Micellar Water. This cleans, removes makeup, and soothes your skin, and you don't even have to rinse it off. It's safe for your entire face, including eyes and lips.

A must-have product to bring to the gym with you? Matrix Play Back Dry Shampoo. This dry shampoo refreshes your lock, smells delicious, and works incredibly well.

Get Active

It can be hard to feel motivated when it's minus 40 degrees outside. I find it much harder to stick to a workout routine in the winter, but thankfully I have a warm vacation just around the corner that's motivating me to brave the cold and head to The Dailey Method. I love The Daily Method because they offer classes that truly help you feel and look your best. Between their cycle and barre class, you're definitely going to see this results sooner rather than later, get your full body workout done in an hour, and just feel amazing.

You know what always helps me stay motivated to workout? New gym clothes, of course! Bench has a great two-in-one tank top with built-in bra, available in store on bench.ca. They have a great selection of graphic tank tops and leggings, too, available in-store end of January. A great pair of workout socks is important, too, and Stance Performance Socks are perfect for your workouts. They are super breathable and provide an exception fit, and they come in a variety of fun colours to match whatever you're wearing to get your sweat on.

For days you want to work out at home, pick up a new yoga mat from Chapters-Indigo. They have so many different styles and colours. I love the one I received in pink, and love using it at home to power through a quick workout.

Don't forget to track your progress of the new you by taking a lot of pictures. The Huawei P10 smartphone is a great phone that'll help keep you on track with your health and fitness goals. You can utilize apps and tools that serve as reminders, do your calorie counting, find out nutritional information, and take incredible pictures with the camera. It's also a super fast phone, and has a long battery life. A 30 minute charge provides a full day's use!

Happy 2018, friends. Here's a healthy and happy year. I hope all your goals come true!

Disclaimer: I have received compensation and/or products for my review. All views and opinions are my own. 
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