Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Clean And Green: Tide Purclean Delivers

Over the last several years, I've been very conscious about making wiser environmental decisions in my home, and teaching my children the importance of helping the environment any way we can. I love how much they know about the importance of recycling, and why we use energy efficient light bulbs. From the classroom to home, they are making smart decisions and learning along the way. We shop organic as much as we can, and bring reusable bags to the grocery store. It's the little things we do on a daily basis that will have a positive impact on the next generation and help reduce our carbon footprint while keeping our planet a happy one.


One area where I haven't completely made the switch to "green" is with my household cleaning supplies. Many of the products I use contain chemicals that are harsh—but effective. I'm actively looking at how to make the switch to products that are better for our environment and for ourselves. However, I don't want to sacrifice clean for green—especially when it comes to using a better-for-the-environment laundry detergent.

As a mom of two active boys, laundry seems to be never-ending in my house—almost as bad as the grass stains I find on every pair of pants my boys wear! I have always used Tide to get out the toughest stains, because it works amazingly well at treating and getting out tough stains, so when I heard that Tide had a brand-new detergent called Tide purclean, I got pretty excited. Tide purclean is the first bio-based detergent with the cleaning power of Tide that I've come to trust. Not having to compromise clean for green is really important to me, so I put Tide purclean to the test.




I was so happy with the results. Seriously, I couldn't tell the different between my original Tide and Tide purclean, and it even kept my white clothes looking new. It also works great at taking out tough stains on clothes, too. After putting it to the test through several loads of laundry, I was very pleased with the results, and even more pleased knowing that I can make the switch to a greener laundry detergent.  I'm glad that Tide has taken an important step towards a more sustainable future with the introduction of Tide purclean to the Tide family.








Here are some of the great benefits of using Tide purclean:
  • It's HE-Comaptible, and works in all machines.
  • Tide purclean is produced in a factory that uses 100% renewable wind power electricity—zero manufacturing waste to landfill.
  • It's free of dyes, chlorine, phosphates, ethanolamine and optical brighteners.
  • It's available in Unscented and Honey Lavender scent, which is delicious (and my favourite!)
  • It's available at all major retailers in Canada.

The best way to help create a more sustainable future is by using affordable, environmentally friendly products we use every day—like Tide purclean. It's a simple step in the right direction, and best of all, it works.


I love that I don't have to compromise clean when I'm choosing to be more eco-friendly.



Disclaimer: I am working in partnership with Tide and have been compensated to write this post. All views and opinions are my own. 


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Getting Healthy In A Hurry: Tips That'll Keep You Fuelled Throughout Your Day

Now that we've settled back into the fall routine, it's important to take note of what we're eating as we move away from the carefree days of summer. I know I'm definitely more pressed for time now that I'm working a full-time schedule again, and with my boys in school, I want to make sure each meal is as healthy as it can be—so we're getting the proper nutrition we need, and the energy to keep us going all day. I go grocery shopping several times a week, but I've never considered using the support of an in-store Registered Dietitian at Loblaw. This great (and did I mention free?) service provides shoppers a range of services, like:
  • Grocery shopping tours to make healthier choices (You'd be surprised what you'll learn!)
  • Health and wellness workshops and lunch and learns 
  • Developing a customized meal plan based on your dietary needs 
  • Interactive cooking classes 
  • Tips for encouraging children to try new foods 
  • Nutrition check-ups to assess dietary habits
I partnered with Loblaw recently to see how this could benefit my family, and I loved how informative my Dietitian, Margaret Hughes, was in helping me come up with new meal ideas. (I'm terrible at meal planning!) I wanted to focus on healthy meals in a hurry—meals I could make my family in a limited amount of time, that were healthy and delicious. I was provided with a ton of information on how to eat "healthy in a hurry" and ways I could incorporate the foods we eat every week (like eggs, fish, and beans) into other meals.

Here are some great tips for you:

Get organized

  • Print a weekly meal planner (which you can pick up the next time you're grocery shopping!) and make a grocery list based on what you plan on cooking for the week.
  • Keep your favourite recipes and cookbook in the kitchen so you can see what ingredients you'll need when you're grocery shopping.
  • Browse the hundreds of "Healthier Choices" recipes on pc.ca.
  • Check your pantry, fridge, and freezer first, then include the food you already have into your meal plan. 
  • Make a list of staples—the items that are essential in your home like eggs, milk, and olive oil—and keep it handy so family members can note when something runs out.

Start planning

  • Cook once, eat twice should be your mantra. What you're having for dinner one night can be lunch the next day. 
  • Prepare your own lunch to bring to work so you're saving money and eating healthy. 
  • If your dinner is lacking in vegetables, add a salad, raw vegetables and dip, steamed veggies, or cooked frozen vegetables. They take a lot less time to prepare, too!
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day.

Next time you're shopping, pick up the From Your Dietitian booklet—it's packed with helpful information like mindful meal planning and perfect portion sizes. It's a handy thing to have close by when you're in the kitchen preparing your next grocery shopping trip!

I'm excited to start meal planning and I'm even going to try some new recipes I know we'll all love. It's all about planning, shopping, prepping and enjoying the food we've made.

To learn more about the dietitian services and find out what store locations offer the service, visit http://loblaws.ca/dietitians.



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

Friday, September 16, 2016

When In Andaz: New Boutique Hotel Opens In Ottawa's ByWard Market

There's a new hotel in Ottawa that's getting some well-deserved buzz. Andaz Hotel recently opened its doors right in the heart of the ByWard Market, but first, there was a grand opening party that was the talk of the town. As a lover of fine hotels, I couldn't be more thrilled with this new opening.


The grand opening party—complete with red carpet, of course, and champagne upon arrival—was a blast, as hundreds of invited guests mingled from floor to floor, checking out the sights of the new hotel and enjoying delicious food and customized drinks.






This new luxury boutique hotel is the first Andaz hotel by Hyatt in Canada, with 200 rooms and 16 floors. It's clean, modern, and perfect for Ottawa. It'll be a hot spot for locals and tourists alike, especially the top-floor outdoor lounge and restaurant, Copper Spirits and Sights. And what a sight it is from the 16th floor, with views of downtown, Parliament hill, and Gatineau. (I suggest going there to eat and catching a sunset—it's breathtaking!)








 
If you're looking for a place to stay, whether you're from out of town or wanting to enjoy a 'staycation' in the nation's capital, definitely book yourself a room here. You'll love the luxuriously hip and ultra-modern hotel with great food, drinks, and breathtaking views.


I can't wait to go back—I'm thinking the rooftop will be Ottawa's newest hot spot. Welcome to Ottawa, Andaz!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Keep It Simply Beautiful With Aveeno And Win

I'm all about using the best beauty products for my skin and hair and I love experimenting with new products that deliver great results.

With summer winding down, it's a good time to change up our beauty routine to keep our skin extra moisturized and hair as shiny and sun-kissed as a summer day as we head into fall and, sadly, colder days.

AVEENO is a name I trust when it comes to keeping my beauty regimen simple and effective.

Here are the latest products I tried that I love:



AVEENO Daily Moisturizing Body Body Wash and AVEENO Daily Moisturizing Lotion Sheer Hydration are two incredible products I've started using. I love how they make my skin feel super soft after my shower, and smelling delicious. (They're also formulated with active naturals colloidal oatmeal).

AVEENO Positively Nourishing Shine Shampoo and AVEENO Positively Nourishing Shine Conditioner with active naturals wheat complex, are what you'll want to start using as part of your hair routine to keep that summer shine in your hair year-round.

AVEENO Positively Radiant Make-up Removing Wipes are a great product to help remove your make-up easily at the end of the day, or after a mid-day work-out. They help improve the five factors of radiance—tone, texture, dullness, blotchiness, and brown spots.

I'd love for you try these great products too, to keep the summer shine and soft skin going well into the fall months. 

Just leave me a comment below telling me something you love about fall, and I'll pick a winner randomly on September 14th.


Disclosure: I have received compensation/product for review for this post. All views and opinions are my own. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kid Loved, Parent Approved: A Kellogg's Giveaway For Back To School

September is here, and although it's sad saying goodbye to summer, I'm definitely looking forward to getting back into the routine of fall—and I think the kids are ready, too. With school just days away, it's time to start thinking about quick and healthy breakfast and snack ideas that'll get everyone out the door quickly—and snacks that'll keep the children satisfied throughout the day.

Kellogg's is always a great idea in the morning—and Rice Krispies is a cereal I loved as a child, and still do—so do my boys.

Kellogg Canada has just come out with some tasty and healthy Nutri-Grain Fruit and Nut Medley Bars that are perfect snacks to eat after school on the way to the dozens of after-school activities. (I save these bars for the kids for after school because they contain nuts. I also make sure to have some in my purse for my hectic days, too, when I'm always on the go.) These bars are packed with real fruits and nuts, and whole grain gluten-free oats, and come in two flavours: Orchard Cherries and Almonds and Harvest Blueberries and Mixed Nuts. 

Another great snack option for kids to enjoy during school hours is the Rice Krispies Squares—now made with brown rice. (A healthier option, and kids won't even know the difference). Easy and healthy snack options make the mornings go by so much easier, and I know my boys will be happy with what I pack for them.

As a Kellogg Ambassador, I'm giving away a great package filled with these healthy snacks and an awesome backpack perfect for any child heading back to school.




To win this package, just leave me a comment below telling me why you're looking forward to fall. I'll pick a winner randomly on September 12th.

Good Luck with back-to-school!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Welcome To the Jungle: Party The Night Away At This Year's Boobyball

If you love a great night out with friends in support of an important cause, then you have to attend this year's Boobyball. The theme? Paradise City.

It's going to be bigger and better than ever before, and tickets are now on sale.  (If you're ordering tickets, you can click on my name in the drop down box).

This year, Boobyball is celebrating 15 years of forward-thinking philanthropy and raising funds for Rethink Breast Cancer. So if you're ready to shake your tropical tails and fan your fancy feathers in support of Rethink Breast Cancer at the annual Boobyball fundraiser, get your tickets before they are sold out—because you're not going to want to miss this wild and fun night in Ottawa.







So far, Boobyball has raised almost $4 million dollars for Rethink Breast Cancer with the money going to educate, empower, and support young people around the world who are concerned about and affected by breast cancer. 

This year's wild jungle themed party will be so cool—guests will walk into a tropical setting filled with electric sunsets, majestic beats, and tiki treats, all while encouraging everyone to take charge of their breast health and help raise funds for those dealing with this disease. 

For more information about Boobyball, visit Boobyball.com

Hope to see you all there—can't wait to see what you'll be wearing!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sicky Eyewear: Stylish Sunglasses For The Most Fashionable

You may say I have a thing for sunglasses—I have a lot of designer shades that I love wearing, no matter the season. They're a necessary accessory, after all. I'm always looking for a new pair, and even though I have many, I always need more. It's an addiction. A healthy one, though!



I was approached by the team at Sicky Eyewear to review one of their incredibly cool and stylish pair of shades, and of course I said yes.  I'm loving them hard and after only a couple of days, I've had quite a few people ask me where they were from and how they could get a pair, too.



Creator John Hildebrand was a photographer first and created Sicky eyewear when he felt disconnected from the brands of sunglasses he was seeing on store shelves. He set up studio in his Malibu garage and created his brand, using his nickname—Sicky. The rest, as they say, is history. (Well, let's just add here that Sicky creates the highest-quality eyewear on the market, and they're made in Japan.)



"Born and designed in Malibu, then meticulously handcrafted in Japan, our point-of-view is uniquely our own but our vision is shared by all creative underdogs. Bold design. Tirelessly refined production processes. Independent. No compromises." 



It seems that everyone is loving Sicky eyewear, too—they're on the faces of every celebrity and model out there, from Jennifer Lopez to Gigi Hadid and even Justin Bieber and Hayden Christensen. Basically, they are everywhere. Yes, they're definitely the shades to be rocking this summer—anywhere you are. Just check out SICKY'S World on Instagram to see more gorgeous people rocking these shades.









It was a really tough choice deciding which pair to go with, but in my classic style, I chose a pair I knew I'd love: the S11 Black Tortoise. These shades sell for $220.00. And I love them!










By the way, you may be wondering where the name Sicky comes from. Hildebrand says: "To me, SICKY means freedom of expression. No barriers, no worries.... it means aggression. It means passion It means hard work. It means full-of-life. Sick means being proud of your individuality and who you are as a person."

Now this is a company I can stand behind—I love the concept, and I love the glasses. If you have any questions on my shades or want to find out more, feel free to contact me.



Thank you, Sicky Eyewear, for bringing me into your cool world and giving me a new pair of sunnies to fall in love with.  These are my new favourite pair of sunglasses.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Shop Local And Win a $100 PC Gift Card

As summer comes to an end, (how did that happen?) I'm doing everything I can to enjoy the last moments before we get back into the fall routine. There is so much left to enjoy, especially spending time outside, with family and friends—swimming, BBQ-ing, and just soaking up the sun as much as we can.

An important part of my day-to-day life is gathering my family together for meal times, and in the summer, we kick back, relax, and enjoy eating fresh foods with each meal, outside. (It's just so simple to eat health during the summer months, isn't it?)

I love that Loblaws provides a great variety of fresh, local ingredients, especially during summertime. In fact, 40% of produce sold in Loblaws stores is sourced by Canadian growers during this peak season, and Loblaws is also the largest purchaser of locally grown food in the country.

Loblaws recently teamed up the vegan YamChops butcher to create unique and tasty, seasonally inspired recipes perfect for summer dining and entertaining. I love finding new recipes I can make for my family, especially when they include local, fresh ingredients I'm already shopping for at my local Loblaws.

Smashed Fiesta Mini Potatoes and Corn and Miso Soup are two delicious options to make for dinner, with nothing but good-for-you ingredients.

How mouthwatering does the Smashed Fiesta Mini Potatoes dish look? It's delicious, and healthy, too.






















SMASHED” FIESTA MINI POTATOES

This vegan‐friendly play on a classic nacho is a great way to mix things up for the summer – or any time of year. Turn any fiesta into a smash hit with these mouth‐watering savoury bites.


Serves: 6 people (allow 2‐3 smashed potatoes per person) 

Prep time: 60 minutes
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Chef: Michael Abramson on behalf of Loblaws


Ingredients:


Potatoes

  •   16‐20 Mini New Potatoes
  •   2 tbsp PC® New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •   1 tsp Sea salt
  •   1⁄4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
      Taco “Meat”
  •   1 cup Walnuts (toasted)
  •   1 1⁄2 tsp Mexican chili powder
  •   1⁄2 tsp Cumin
  •   1⁄4 tsp Sea salt
  •   1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper
  •   1 tbsp PC® New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      Tomato Salsa
  •   1 1⁄4 cup PC® Flavour Burst Tomato of Yore Beefsteak Tomatoes
  •   1⁄4 cup Sweet onion
  •   1/3 cup Basil (or coriander)
  •   1 Small JalapeƱo
  •   2 tbsp Lime juice
  •   1 tsp Sea salt
      Cashew Sour Cream
  •   2 cups Raw cashews
  •   1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  •   3⁄4 ‐ 1 cup Water
  •   1 1⁄2 tbsp Cider vinegar
  •   1⁄4 tsp Sea salt

Directions:

Wash potatoes well.

Potatoes

  1. Boil 10 cups (2500 ml) of water and add 1 tsp sea salt.
  2. Add mini potatoes and continue to boil until potatoes are easily pierced with a skewer –
    approx. 10‐12 minutes, but will vary depending on potato size.
  3. Drain potatoes and rinse well under cold water to halt the cooking process.
  4. Take one potato at a time and place between the folds of a double folded, clean kitchen
    towel. Press down firmly to “smash” potato to about 1‐1 1⁄2 cm thickness.
  5. Place “smashed” potato on a parchment‐ or silpat‐lined baking sheet and repeat with
    remaining potatoes.
  6. Preheat oven to broil. Brush "smashed" potatoes on both sides with olive oil and return
    to the baking sheet.
  7. Place in preheated oven and broil for approximately 4‐6 minutes until the edges just
    begin to crisp up.
Taco “Meat”
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and walnuts on a parchment‐ or silpat‐lined baking sheet. Place
    in oven for approximately 5‐7 minutes – shaking pan every couple of minutes. Look for them to darken a shade and smell "toasty". Be careful – toasting any nut can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds.
  2. Place toasted walnuts and all other taco "meat" ingredients in a mini food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Keep a bit of texture.
Tomato Salsa
  1. Wash and seed tomatoes. Chop into fine dice and place in medium‐sized bowl.
  2. Finely chop onion. Add to bowl with tomatoes.
  3. Mince basil and jalapeno with seeds. Add to bowl.
  4. Add lime juice and sea salt and mix together gently; drain any excess liquid that has
    accumulated in the bowl prior to serving.
Cashew Sour Cream
  1. Add cashews to 4 Cups (1000 ml) boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and
    let cashews sit in water for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse cashews and add to high speed blender with remaining ingredients.
  3. Blend at high speed until you reach a "sour cream" consistency. Add additional water 1
    tablespoon at a time if required.
  4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate if not using immediately.
Potato Assembly

1. On a serving plate, top smashed potatoes with 1‐2 tsp walnut taco "meat,” 1 tsp of fresh

salsa, 1 tsp of cashew sour cream and 1/2 tsp green onion.

TIP: “Smashed” potatoes and taco “meat” can be made up to 4 hours in advance. Fresh cut tomato salsa may be kept refrigerated for 2 days. Cashew sour cream may be kept for one week if covered and refrigerated.

For more recipe ideas, check out YamChops.com.

Shopping health, local food is important to me and my family, and I want to know why you think supporting local growers is important—tell me in the comments below and I'll pick a winner to win a $100 PC Gift Card on August 30th, 2016. 

Bonus entry: Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. (Leave a separate comment telling me you are!)

Good Luck—and enjoy the last few weeks of this wonderful season.


Disclaimer: I have been compensated for this post, and all views and opinions are my own. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Affordable And Stylish Must-Have Products For Back To School

I can't believe I'm talking about this, but it's almost time for the kids to head back to school. It's crazy how quickly summer passes, isn't it? It's also too bad winter months never, ever seem to go by as fast. I wish summer lasted year-round, but let's be honest—my kids are definitely needing routine back in their lives. And as much as I love lounging by the pool for hours every day... I am also ready for more regular routine.

Yes, we've had a wonderful summer filled with great memories and vacations to Mont Tremblant and south Florida, and my boys enjoyed a couple of weeks of tennis camp, too. The rest of our summer days and nights were spent swimming and enjoying the great outdoors, and now... it's time to dust off the backpacks, and start thinking about making lunches every day. Are you ready? I am! (Except for the making lunches every day part. I could do without that.)

I was on CTV Morning Live today talking about essential and affordable back-to-school products kids will need this fall, whether they're starting kindergarten or university.




Here's what you need before the school year starts:

Sears Canada: For complete back-to-school looks for boys or girls, check out Sears Canada for fashionable and affordable finds. I love how it's so easy to shop at Sears Canada, and how you can find complete outfits for the kids for $65 or less. They also have a great selection of backpacks, too.

Mabel's Labels: I never start the school year without labels from Mabel's Labels. It is really important to label children's items for school, from backpacks to lunch bags to shoes and pencil cases. There are many different styles and icons to choose from, too.  I love that Mabel's Labels has allergy alert labels and stickers for kids with nut or other allergies, giving parents some peace of mind when kids are in school. 

Chapters Indigo: I could live in Chapters Indigo. It's more than just books, though books is the number one reason I go as often as I do. The back-to-school section is amazing, and offers many different and affordable option for the school year. From pencil crayons and markers, to calendars and lunch containers, you'll definitely find the stylish, affordable things your kids (and you!) will need for the coming school year. For more, check out Chapters.Indigo.ca. 

Tag Along Toys: Shopping local is important to my family and I, and one of our favourite toy stores (in Kanata and on Bank Street) is Tag Along Toys. I love the great products the store carries, and the variety of items for back-to-school, including great lunch containers, backpacks, and the cool mycoldcup.com cup that will keep liquids (like milk) cold for kids throughout the day because of the freeze stick that comes in the container. For more information, visit Tag Along Toys in-store or online at TagAlongToys.ca. 

Staples: Staples is another place I love shopping with my kids for our back-to-school supplies. We love stocking up on paper, pencils, erasers, pencil cases, and so much more.

MEC: If you're looking for great backpacks with extra padding and adjustable straps, visit MEC or MEC.ca for a wide variety of backpacks for students of all ages.

Happy back-to-school shopping, everyone. If you have any questions about any of the products I talked about, just let me know. I'd be happy to provide more information. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Strong Moms Inspire P&G Thank You, Mom Campaign

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games have come and gone—it's really amazing how quickly these last two have gone by! What did me in every time was watching the P&G Thank You, Mom commercial, knowing what a huge role family plays in these athletes day-to-day lives. The commercial follows the Olympic Games journeys of four moms and their kids, showing moments, both big and small, when a mother's strength makes all the difference.

Canada did amazing this year, winning 22 medals. It was especially heartwarming to see Brianne Thiessen-Eaton win the bronze in women's Heptathlon. She was amazing and inspiring. Thiessen-Eaton is also a Crest Canada ambassador, and it was great watching her #SmileThrough every tough challenge she faced during the Olympics. She really understands the power of perseverance, hard work, and determination.

And how amazing was Andre De Grasse? He's Canada's Bolt, and made the country proud with his triple win (a silver, and two bronze medals). I can't wait to see what's next for these two athletes.

As part of P&G's dedication to bringing the best to moms around the world every day, P&G brands partnered with Olympic athletes like Andre De Grasse and Brianne Thiessen-Eaton on their journey to Rio, and celebrated these athletes and their families by hosting them in the P&G Family Home in Rio, where they were able to enjoy a home away from home during the gruelling two weeks, complete with beauty and grooming treatments from P&G brands like Pantene, Gillette, and Crest.

As the Olympics wrap up tonight and we watch the closing ceremony, here's a look back a the P&G Thank You, Mom commercial, Strong,  that made me tear up every time I watched it:





Disclaimer: I am a Crest Brand Ambassador. I have received compensation for my post and all views and opinions are my own. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Smiles And Stamina: How To Train Like An Olympic Heptathlete

Have you been watching the 2016 Rio Olympics? I've been watching non-stop with my children and we are loving all the events, especially track, swimming, and gymnastics.

Canadian women have been rocking the podium at the Olympics, winning so many medals—and I think it's important to watch with my kids to show them how far you can go with the right mind set and determination. I love hearing the stories about the athlete's journey to Rio, and what an important role family plays in helping these athelete's reach their goals. (And I still cry every time I watch a P&G Thank You Mom commercial—without fail.)

It was so cool watching Brianne Theissen-Eaton win bronze in women's hepathalon. Unlike other track and field competitions, the hepathalon is a really physically and mentally demanding sport. It's comprised of seven different events over a two-day period, and takes stamina, determination, and the ability to #SmileThrough the challenges to train for the different difficult multi-disciplinary sport.

Here are some workout tips inspired by Brianne's track and field coach, Alicia Bell:

Warm Up: Incorporate dynamic work-out drills before any workout, like stretches like leg swings or bounding.

Plyometrics: Jumping exercises, also known as "plyos" are exercises where muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power. You can try this at home by incorporating hurdle hops, box jumps, squat jumps or lunge jumps into your workout.

High Intensity Training: Cardio exercices in track and field are often called "tempo" or "fartlek" and they help prepare for the running events in the heptathlon. You can do this at home, in the gym or on the track, through high intensity interval training. This is a training technique where you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by short, active, recovery periods. This will get your heart rate up and you'll burn more fat in less time.

Upper Body: A strong upper body will power you through touch workouts and races while helping you maintain good form as you train to boost endurance. Medicine balls are a great way to train of the upper body strength needed for javelins and shot put. To do this, try incorporating medial throws, slams, and wall balls in your workout.

Hydration: It's so important to stay hydrated—just as important as it is to eat healthy. Training and performing for seven different events can be gruelling, so make sure to have a water bottle close by to take sips throughout your workout.

Every year, P&G's Olympic Games campaign is inspired by the research brands like Pantene, Bounty, and Crest, to create products that work better for moms and families. This year, Brianne—who understands the power of perseverance—was sponsored by Crest, and it's quite evident she knows how to #SmileThrough it all, despite the obstacles,and challenges. It was great seeing her smile with her much deserved bronze medal, too.


Disclaimer: I have been compensated by Crest, and all views and opinions are my own. 


Ways To Give Back

Header Image

Summer goes by so quickly, even though the days sometimes pass slowly when I'm home with the kids every day. We keep busy by going on vacation and when we're not away, my boys do several weeks of tennis camp, which they love. We do the usual fun summer activities, like swimming, BBQ's with friends and family, sightseeing around the city, and more.

Another important part of our life—no matter the season—is giving back, doing our part in helping the community, and charity work. I love working with companies and organizations who get the importance of charity and giving back. 

Here are some ways you can get active and involved:

Ways To Give Back 

Stay active in the community: We love staying active in our community by donating what we no longer need to different charity groups. I love getting my children involved so they learn the importance of giving back from an early age. We donate books we no longer read, give away clothes we've outgrown and even give away household items that we don't need anymore. We drop off to different charity groups throughout the year.  Staying involved in our community is important, and showing my boys ways they can help and give back is important to me, too. 

Donate: We often buy extra canned goods and other non-perishable food items when we're at the grocery store and drop off in the food donation bins. We've also gone to the local food pantry a few times, as it's a great way to teach my children why we should be donating all the time, not just around the holidays. If you can help, you should. 

Recycle: This is something that's pretty easy to do, and if you teach children to reduce, re-use, and recycle from a young age, they'll get in the habit of recycling for life. 

Find a charity you love: A charity we donate to every year is CHEO—the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Because we've had to use CHEO several times for our oldest son, it's a hospital that's very near and dear to my heart. Any chance I get to donate and give back to CHEO, I do, and my children love knowing that CHEO is our chosen charity. 

There are so many ways you can get involved and give back to your community, too. And it's especially worthwhile to show younger children the importance of charity, too. I appreciate the work The Egg Farmers of Canada does to help give back in big ways, too. 




Sunday, August 7, 2016

Luxury In The Heart Of Tremblant With Tremblant Living

Mont Tremblant is a favourite vacation destination for us, and only a couple of hours from Ottawa, making it perfect for a weekend or week-long getaway, no matter the season.

I had the privilege of reviewing the stunning Manor Chalet home with Tremblant Living, and I was so happy our friends were able to come enjoy this vacation with us, too. We loved every minute, and we can't wait to visit again soon. This home—with nine large bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a small gym, game room, indoor pool, hot tub, and so much more—was breathtaking.










Tremblant Living specializes in superior luxury vacation rental homes in Mont Tremblant, with homes located on or close to the Mont Tremblant resort. The Manor Chalet was the home that instantly caught my eye because of the large indoor pool and hot tub—I knew the children would love experiencing their own indoor pool during our vacation. This gorgeous 12,000 sq. ft. home is beautiful—and is the most prestigious property in the Tremblant area. It's truly a four-season paradise, and perfect for a big group of friends, with our without children. (Can you imagine relaxing in front of the fireplace or in the indoor pool and hot tub after hours spent skiing, in the winter? Perfection!)

The Manor Chalet is surrounded by a peaceful forest, with a beautiful private mountain stream that was very popular with the children. The home was tranquil and peaceful, but also a minute away from the Tremblant village, so it really is the best of both worlds.






Most of our time was spent enjoying the beautiful home, but we ventured into the village a couple of times a day to entertain the kids on the Cabriolet (over and over again) and we also enjoyed the gorgeous ride up on the Panoramic Gondola, with views of the highest peak in the Laurentians. It was a scorching hot day when we rode the Gondola, but it was still so worth it for the views and experience.












Although the village is only a minute away, there is so much to do in the Manor Chalet, we almost never left. We took full advantage of the outdoor fire pit by the mountain stream in the evenings, roasting marshmallows and making s'mores, walked by the stream, swam in the indoor pool, and relaxed in the hot tub, and the children kept busy in the pool, playing soccer, enjoying the play structure in the backyard, and playing pool in the newly renovated basement. They even enjoyed several games of hide in seek in the massive home. The children didn't want to leave, and we'd all have been happy to spend a few more days in the home, too.

The fully-equipped, newly renovated, state-of-the-art kitchen was perfect for our big group, and we prepared all our meals in the home. I love that there is also the option of hiring a private chef during your stay—something we'll take advantage of the next time we stay at a Tremblant Living property. Tremblant Living also offers a personal concierge to help you plan your outings.










I'm so glad everyone loved their stay at the Manor Chalet, and I love all the new memories that were made. It's no surprise to me that I received over a dozen requests for information about Tremblant Living while we were away, from friends who wanted to know where I was staying so they could plan their next trip to Tremblant with Tremblant Living. Sadly, we're back to reality now, but we've got our memories and we know we'll do it again soon enough. It's the only way I want to experience Tremblant now—it was truly an incredible and luxurious summer vacation.

For more information on the properties offered through Tremblant Living, check out TremblantLiving.ca. If you have any questions about my stay, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you, Tremblant Living, for the experience.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The 90's Choker Trend: Back In Style

I'm pretty consistent with my style, and although I'm always shopping (it's an addiction I've come to accept) I stick to the basics, usually—for summer, that means cute heels and wedges, little dresses, (mostly black) and jeans with tank tops. Oh, and anything Free People.

Two trends I'm absolutely loving right now that have made a huge comeback are off-the shoulder tops and chocker necklaces. I've gone crazy shopping for off-the-shoulder tops and chokers. If you're looking for off-the-shoulder tops, check out Nordstrom Ottawa. (And what better time to shop than this weekend, during their famous Anniversary Sale—the big sale starts on July 22nd, so get there early.)

The 90's are back in a big way right now, with off-the-shoulder tops and dresses and chokers that everyone is wearing right now.



I picked up three chokers from Aldo this week, two black and one brown, and I love wearing them with my off-the-shoulder tops, dresses, and tank tops. The best part? They're totally affordable and a great way to accessorize for summer.

Here are a few that I love:

These three chokers are from Aldo, and all are under twenty dollars:


You can also stock up at Nordstrom Ottawa, and with the Anniversary Sale starting this weekend, it's a perfect time to go shop for these great necklaces:






Check out H&M, too—always a great place to shop for accessories that are very affordable. This choker is under ten dollars:


Happy shopping, everyone! The 90's are back in the best way possible.

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