For Business Or Pleasure

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Sometimes mixing business with pleasure can be a very good thing. I had a great time when I was recently in south Florida enjoying a family vacation and also getting the chance to tour the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort—the perfect way of mixing the best of both worlds!

My business trip check-list

Going away on a business trip can be different from other kinds of travelling. That doesn't mean that it can't be enjoyable, but it does involve a little more than simply throwing some clothes into a bag and setting off for some sun, sea, and sand.

When you have a family, even a normal holiday means that you have responsibilities to other people but when it is a work-related getaway, things are a little different.

Making sure that you have a business trip check-list is essential—here are some tips to help you:

Information

Depending on whether you work for yourself or for a company, the level of research and preparation you have to do can vary a great deal. I like to keep a detailed itinerary of the events I have to cover, and I make sure I have all the information I need printed out. Excel spreadsheets help a lot, too, and help keep me organized if I have a lot of meetings and events going on at different locations. You certainly want to be at the right place at the right time!

Communication 

We live in an interconnected world and that's great for both business and family. Being able to phone home from anywhere in the world on our own phone means our loved ones are always there with us. FaceTime is a wonderful thing! Remember the time differences, though, if you're in a different time zone, and plan your calls accordingly!

Making sure that you have access to email is pretty much essential for any modern business traveller and sometimes a laptop of tablet will make things easier than a smartphone if you have a lot of writing to do. I don't leave home without my MacBook Air!

Money 

Looking after your finances on a business trip can be confusing, as it may be necessary to keep official and personal expenditure totally separate. The best way to do this is by using business cards  such as an Amex credit card. As well as making it easy to keep business outlay separate from your own purchases such as gifts for the family to take home, a business card will offer you protection against fraud and other business related travel benefits, giving you that peace of mind you need. Having one less thing to worry about is always a good thing.

Clothes

Packing for a business trip means making sure you have a range of clothes suitable for each occasion. Even if you are going somewhere nice and hot, you most likely won't be able to get away with meeting work clients dressed in your beachwear, so always choose appropriate outfits. A couple of years ago I was on a conference in Miami, and believe it or not, I never once had the chance to put on a bikini and enjoy the ocean that was right there in front of me. I did, of course, pack my bikini in my suitcase, though, because you just never know... and I believe it's always better to over-pack rather than under-pack!





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Pretty Little Things

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I miss the sun, warm days, and flip flops on my feet. I miss little dresses, patio nights, and the sounds of summer, like my children splashing in the pool. I miss the smells of summer, too, like suntan lotion.

I'm over winter—the cold, the snow, the blowing wind, the ice, and all the winter gear that has taken over my house—enough! Sadly, winter is not quite finished with us yet, as is quite evident by the looks of things out there right now. (Just brutal.)

Thankfully, I'm leaving winter behind for a vacation down south, to my favourite south Florida resort, where I'll be enjoying the warm sun on my skin, and the fact that we can all wear our summer clothes again... at least temporarily.

Bring on the sunshine.

Here are some colourful things that remind me of spring that I'm loving right now:

Hanky Panky: These are, hands down, the best. They're comfortable, sexy, and come in many awesome colours. These make a great little gift, too and are totally affordable. You can stock up on your Hanky Panky addiction at Holt Renfrew or Nordstrom.



Clairisonic Skin Cleaning System:  I love when my skin looks and feels clean, smooth, and youthful. I'm looking forward to experiencing the great facials at Precian Laser Spa, but an at-home cleaning routine is key to great-looking skin. This Clarisonic Skin Cleaning System is an at-home cleaning kit that'll keep your skin looking great all the time. (And this particular pink Clarisonic skincare brush contributes to the Look Good, Feel Better program, helping women with breast cancer.) "With daily use the Clarisonic reduces dry skin patches, oily areas and blemishes and immediately leaves skin feeling and looking smoother." Sold!


Ariella Collection Silver Scross Initial Pendant Necklace: I love initial necklaces. I have a silver necklaces from Citrus Silver that was given to me with my children's names on it. I'd love to add an "L" initial, too, and this one is so pretty, and affordable—it's only $44.00! (This one is available at Nordstrom.)


Sunglasses: I love buying new sunglasses. Although I normally stick with Chanel when it comes to sunglasses (I'll buy a pair that'll last for years, and I wear them religiously every day!) I am loving these Lilly Pulitzer sunglasses. The colour is perfect for spring and summer. Can't go wrong with turquoise! Best part? They are under $200.00.


    Tory Burch Perfume: I love trying and loving new perfumes and scents, and this perfume by Tory Burch is quite lovely, like everything she creates, from shoes to handbags. I'm also really loving the new Estee Lauder fragrance, Modern Muse, and always have a sample or two in my make-up bag.


    Swimwear: Since I'm heading down south in a few days, I had to stock up on some new swimwear! My mom bought me a new turquoise bikini for Christmas, and I purchased a new coral coloured one. A girls needs some variety, right? I love the swimwear from Body Glove, because the bathing suits and bikinis are well made, and affordable. 


    Toms Wedge Sandal: I love Toms. With every Toms product you purchase, Toms helps someone in need. I love that the company donates a pair of shoes (or eyewear) to a child in need every time you buy a pair. I am currently craving these wedge sandals.  (And by the way, Toms shoes are very comfortable!) 




    Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Balm: I love Carmex Lip Balm, and not just during the winter months. I recently tried the new Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Balm Limited Edition Design Collection, which made my lips feel super hydrated and soft. This new collection features the same ultra hydrating, satin gloss lip balms you can expect from Carmex, only this time in cute little stylish sticks. (They come in Fab, Adventurous, and Chic. All three have aloe, vitamin E and SPF 15 sunscreen to protect lips no matter the season!) You can pick these up at Shoppers Drug Mart or Sobey's, but I'm giving away these three new Lip Balms to two of my readers. 

    Just leave me a comment below and you're entered to win!




    Here's to looking ahead to spring, even though it feels like winter will never end. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, my friends... so hang tight!
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    Making Vacation Memories With CAA

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    I've loved to travel every since I was a child. I have great memories of family trips—from summers spent in Greece, to vacations in England, Cape Cod and Florida, every vacation was special and memorable. Some trips, to this day, are more vivid than others, and one of those vacations for me was the first time we went to Orlando.

    Now, I'm a beach girl, so going to a city where we weren't surrounded by the ocean made me a bit scared, but once we arrived, I loved it. Disney World was great, even though the line-ups were long, but my favourite part was the resort we stayed in: The Hyatt Recency Grand Cypress. I was almost 13 years old, and I fell in love with the gorgeous pools, waterfalls, slides, and tropical landscape. This was a five-star, five-diamond resort, and the service was amazing. I can't wait to bring my kids. As an almost 13 year old girl, exploring the resort and making new friends with other kids my age was a highlight of my trip to Orlando.





    Planning a trip to Orlando (or anywhere when you're travelling with children!) can sometimes be challenging, and expensive.

    Here are some travel tips for you:

    Dress comfortably: When you're travelling, wear something comfy. Your favourite pair of jeans, a pair of lulu's, or a dress that, no matter what position you end up in, will not fall off or expose any body parts unintentionally! Dress in something... easy. Using those tiny airplane bathrooms with a child with you? Not easy. Also, always bring everyone a sweater, even if you're going to a warm destination.

    Pack a (smart) carry-on: Now that my children are older (six and eight) I can entertain the idea of packing a few books with me to read on vacation, but when they were younger, I had no time to read, let alone relax, on vacation. The carry-on essentials are: snacks, snacks, and more snacks! I love to bring little surprises with me, too, to give the kids when they're getting restless on the trip, either on the plane, or in the car. Things like a new book,  paper and pencil crayons, or a new DVD. Also important: an extra change of clothes for the kids, earphones, and a little pillow for them to rest their heads. (Don't forget the most important thing: iPhone/ipad/DS chargers! Oh, and passports!)

    Stay at child-friendly resorts: One of my favourite things about travelling to a resort like the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa is the fact that Westin hotels are very child-friendly and accommodating. My children enjoy the free breakfast buffet, they have great (and healthy!) lunch options, and there is a Kids Club with so much to do.

    Travel with your entourage: I've travelled alone with my children to D.C. , with my husband and our children, and often, with our entire family, including my parents, my sister, her husband, and their kids. Big family trips are the best. Not only do the kids have constant entertainment, you'll always have an extra set of hands to help you. It also means you'll have a chance to go out at night sans kids. It means you can enjoy your pina colada while it's still cold, and you can even swim in the ocean all alone without a care in the world, knowing someone's keeping the kids busy. Travelling with family members adds to the overall vacataion experience.

    Get out there: As much as I love hotels and resorts, I love getting out there and exploring the city I'm in. Whether we're heading to our favourite restaurant for dinner, going to our favourite shopping mall or exploring the museums and zoo, we try to do as much as we can on vacation.

    Don't leave home without: Pack a little first-aid kit. Include items like band-aids, polysporin, alcohol wipes, Gravol, Tylenol, Advil, vitamins, bug spray, sunscreen, aloe lotion for burns, and a thermometer. This will save you trips to the pharmacy if anything minor should happen.

    Don't overpack: I know—this is almost laughable! I have a hard time not packing my entire closet with me when I travel and I never know what to leave out. Try hard to pack only what you know you'll wear, and don't bring too many pairs of shoes with you. Pro tip: always leave room in your suitcase for shopping! 

    Get a room with a balcony: Assuming you're traveling somewhere with an ocean view, get a room with a balcony. There is nothing quite like waking up to the sound of the waves and seeing the endless ocean in front of you! This way, if your children just want to hang out in the room for a few hours because they're tired, at least you'll still feel like you're on vacation.

    Be flexible: When you're travelling, you're bound to encounter some problems, starting at the airport. I could write a book about issues I've had dealing with people who work at the airport, and with specific airlines, but I don't like to waste my time complaining unless it's something serious. We've all had bad service at the airport, right? Don't sweat the small stuff. Be flexible. Relax. Children will be off their routine, so do your best to go with the flow. Let the kids nap under the palm trees, in the shade. Go at your own pace.

    All this travel talk has me craving a trip down south... back to Orlando!

    CAA is giving away a fabulous vacation to Orlando, all expenses paid. Yes, including airfare for four,  accommodations, and of course, tickets to some of Orlando's most popular theme parks. This vacation package (worth $6,000.00) is also easy to enter, so you should totally go enter, because really, just imagine how excited your children would be if you won?

    Here's the link to enter the contest! Good luck, everyone. I don't know about you, but I sure could use a vacations somewhere warm right now! (This contest is going on until February 15th, so you should enter now.)





    Disclosure: As a Brand Ambassador with PTPA and CAA South Central Ontario, I received compensation for my participation. However, all opinions expressed are my own.


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    Finding The Perfect Vacation Home

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    I love to travel, especially during the winter months. Travelling as a family is so much fun, and with each trip we take, new memories are made. We frequently vacation to our favourite south Florida resort, but we've also considered buying a "home away from home" to spend even more time in our favourite city down south. After all, our winters here in Canada last for a very, very long time!

    Just with any big purchase, looking into buying a vacation home is exciting, but stressful. There is so much to discuss, and making a spontaneous decision is not well advised. After all, you're not just buying a new pair of shoes! Planning and thorough research will bring you the best results.

    Here are some tips and tricks for you to use, so that you'll get exactly what you're looking for:

    Preparation

    The search for a vacation home may be a little glamorous at some point, buy first you have to spend some time doing some serious research—things like looking through advertisements, looking at areas you like and analyzing where the best place is for you and your family. If I was seriously looking for a place down south, it would have be right near the ocean, with a pool. I'd also definitely want to be near shops, restaurants, and a hospital.

    Go for a drive

    After the initial part of the search, go for a drive! Explore the territory, get to know the neighbourhood, and see if the place feels right for you. Think of the bigger picture; is it suitable for everyone? Are you happy with your location choice? Is it all you desired for a vacation home? You still don't have to make the final decision yet, but this is a great way to get a feel for what might soon be your dream vacation home!


    Stay realistic

    Okay, the truth is, I'm a huge dreamer. I'm sure the property I look at initially will be way out of my price range, so it's best to keep your options open, and it's best to remember to be realistic. Ask yourself if you're simply getting a summer home, or more—will this be an investment for you? How often will you use the property and would mortgage payments, property taxes and other expenses be realistic and affordable for you at this point in your life? How will you finance your purchase?

    Narrowing down 

    If you've all the above and have selected the location, it's time for you to narrow down your search and decide the type of home you want. Apartment? Condo? Single family home? Remember to keep in mind the things I mentioned above, like distance to the nearest grocery store, hospital, etc. I would love to also have a property surrounded by trees and greenery, as well as be within walking distance of the beach. A pool would be idea, as well!

    Renting before owning

    When you choose the house or apartment you want to buy, it might be useful and helpful to rent if for some time first to make sure you really feel that the place and atmosphere are exactly what you want. This will also give you time to evaluate the amenities and conveniences your property of choice has. Making a final decision after spending a good amount of vacation time at your chosen "vacation home" is a good idea. You can look through some classifieds websites to get some ideas on renting and buying a vacation home, too.

    Find an agent

    After you've figured out what you need and what you're eager to have in the house, get a local agent to lead the way for you—they can take your dream and turn it into a reality! Local agents are better to work with as they know the specific area you're interested in and they're going to be available to you when you have any questions that need answering.

    Invest in the future

    When you're buying a new property it's important to understand what the profit potential is. When searching for a new vacation home, for example, keep in mind the resale value and get an idea of the area you're investing in. Owning property (near of far) can be very beneficial for years to come. Make sure the house you are purchasing has as many distinctive features as possible—all these can help you get even more profit later, if and when you want to sell.

    Have a strict price point and a timeline

    In order to organize the search of a new house in the effective way, you should establish, along with your agent, the price limits you have and your timeframe. This will give you some stability and a solid plan.

    Identify accessibility issues

    When you're buying a new home, keep in mind things like how easily accessible your home is. Is it convenient for all members of your family? Are the roads to and from your home maintained year-round?

    Go for it!

    After you've done all your research, it's time to take that leap and buy your vacation home... and enjoy it for years to come.



    Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post. 


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    Precision Laser Spa Giveaway

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    As a working mom of two, life is really hectic and sometimes, crazy. I know it's almost a faux-pas to talk about how "busy" we are, but hey—it's the truth! I know I don't stop from the moment I wake up at 6 a.m. until my head hits the pillow sometime after 1 a.m. every night. Most meals are consumed standing up, and I often feel like I live in my car. (Thank goodness for good music, otherwise I don't know what I'd do!)

    No matter how busy I am, I always make time for me. I go for weekly blow-dry's, I love going for massages, and if possible, I'll go for manicures and pedicures once or twice a month. I think it's really important to take care of ourselves, including eating well and working out. Looking good is just as important as feeling good, and the two go hand in hand, I think. 

    One thing I don't do enough? Facials! They're just as relaxing as a massage, only with the added bonus of doing something really good for your skin and face. Whenever I've gone for a facial or microdermabrasion, my skin is left feeling super soft. It's as if magic happens, because fine lines also disappear. 

    Recently, Precision Laser Spa contacted me and asked if I would like to go in to their spa and experience some of their fabulous services.

    Do I want healthier, younger looking and more flawless skin? Um... without hesitation, yes!

    Precision Laser Spa is an advanced medical spa and state-of-the-art facility featuring the most innovative technologies, products, and treatment options. They are all about non-invasive laser treatments in a super luxurious setting, complemented by professional and knowledgeable staff. 




    Not only am I going to be experiencing a hydradermabrasion facial and an essential facial, I'm also going to be giving away not one, not two, not three, but FOUR amazing treatment packages to four of my awesome (and oh, so lucky) readers. 

    Here's what's including in each of the four packages I'm giving away:
    • 1 Radio-frequency facelift
    • 1 Hydradermabrasion facial
    • 1 essential facial
    As if that wasn't enough, everyone who wins will also receive a bottle of EmerginC Relief Hand Cream, which is awesome all the time, but especially now, during the (long, cold, icy, dark) winter months.

    How amazing is this giveaway?

    I'm so excited! (The spa is located in Ottawa, so if you win,  you'd have to live here or come here to receive your treatments.)

    Here's how you can enter:

    Good Luck, everyone!
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    Co-Hosting Daytime Ottawa

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    Today I played co-host on Daytime Ottawa alongside Derick Fage, and it was a blast. We talked about all sorts of things, like if we'd go to Mars or not. (Um, no.) I even gave Derick some tips on dancing because he's going be one of the celebrities on next year's DWTS for Easter Seals.

    The thing I love best about Daytime is that it's an entire hour focusing on local talent, and it's a great way to learn more about the things that are going on in this awesome city we live in.


    I always love being on the show, but co-hosting is a whole other level of fun! (Can't wait to come back, Derick... hint, hint.)



    I even had the chance to make healthy brownies! I look a bit sad in this picture, though. It's just my baking face, which is similar to my "math" face. (The face of confusion!)


    And this is my look of surprise once I found out what a "cookbook" is actually used for. Just kidding, you guys. I know what they're for... I just don't often use them!


    Here's a small clip from today's show.

    Thanks for watching!





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    Sparkly Clean!

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    Some days, it feels like I spend more hours than I should in my kitchen—and I'm not even cooking or baking!

    Running a house with young children in it means there is always a sink full of dishes that need to be washed, and so I'm very thankful for my trusty dishwasher who gets to do all the "dirty" work.

    I was recently given the chance to try out the new Finish Power & Free dishwashing tabs by Quantum and at first I wasn't sure they'd do as good as a job as the ones I'm used to using, because they're made with less harsh chemicals compared to the usual brand we use.

    I love switching to cleaning products that are safer for my children, our house, and the environment, so I was excited to give these a try, but I was apprehensive at first, because sometimes, I've found, safer-for-the-environment products don't always do as good a job cleaning as the products that use harsher chemicals.



    The end result? Perfectly clean, streak-free dishes! Seriously! I've switched to buying Finish Power & Free dishwashing tabs and I've got several members of family making the switch, too.

    If you'd like to try a sample yourself, check out the Finish Facebook Page! They'll send you a FREE sample so you can put it to the test, too.



    Disclosure: I am participating in the Finish Power & Free Blogger Campaign on behalf of Finish. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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    All That Glitters At The Golden Globe Awards

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    Did you watch the Golden Globe Awards?

    There was so much to love this year! Mostly, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. They were, as expected, hilariously awesome. And they looked fabulous. Seriously, wow. The hair, the make-up, and the dresses? Loved. These two are brilliant, gorgeous, and funny, and they make the Golden Globes worth watching for the non-stop laughter. They are the best. (And hey, Tina is Greek, so bonus points right there!)



    Okay, let's talk about how glad I am that Jennifer Lawrence won Best Supporting Actress for American Hustle.

    As you may know (surely you all know by now) I really loved American Hustle.

    I am SO glad American Hustle won Best Picture, too!

    I'm loving the soundtrack, and I am dying to buy an entire new wardrobe consisting entirely of all the gorgeous clothes Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence wore in the movie. (And of course, I'll be stocking up on that double-sided tape!)

    Congrats, Jennifer Lawrence—not only for your big win, but also for wearing a Dior dress I didn't like at first, but quickly warmed up to. You looked great, and short hair suits you.


    Who else did I love? Amy Adams, of course, and oh yeah—she won Best Actress for American Hustle, too! Of course she did, she was flawless and gorgeous in the movie.

    Amy's acceptance speech brought a tear to my eye when she thanked her young daughter: "I love you so much. Thank you for teaching me to accept joy and let go of fear." (Isn't that so true of parenthood? What greater joy is there is this world?)

    Amy, you were the lady in red, and you're now my new favourite, low-low-cut dresses and all.


    Who else looked gorgeous on the red carpet?


    Sofia Vergara in Zac Posen was strikingly beautiful. No surprise there; she's always stunning.

    Maria Menounos, for always being the best-dressed reporter covering any awards show.

    Cate Blanchett, who was the epitome of classic, timeless beauty. Her jewellery, her make-up, her hair, and, of course, her dress. Flawless. Beautiful.

    And shout-out again to Amy Adams, because, well, she was just lovely to look at.

    Who did I love the most? Reese Witherspoon! I think she was last night's best-dressed winner.

    From her hair to her smile to her Calvin Klein dress (what a gorgeous colour!) she was simply... stunning. I seriously need this dress. So pretty.


    Who confused me? Emma Watson. A red dress with black leggings? Um... no? Well... maybe? Wait... it looks kind of okay from the back. Maybe... yes? Actually, you looked hot, Emma. That's taking a risk and making it work.





    I still can't decide if I love or dislike the dress Sandra Bullock was wearing. Overall, she looked great, but I don't know if I love the dress. Maybe I love it, from the waist-up.


    What else was awesome about this year's Golden Globe Awards?

    Robert Downey Jr., because, well, Robert Downey Jr. Love him!

    Kate Beckinsale, looking as beautiful as ever in a gorgeous silver mermaid gown.

    Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, for looking sexy in their metallic halter (very low-back) dresses.

    Olivia Wilde, for being the prettiest pregnant celebrity at the Golden Globes.

    Emma Thompson, presenting an award with a martini in one hand, and a pair of Louboutin's in the other hand. I get it, Emma. Pretty shoes are painful shoes, even with those expensive red soles.

    Tina and Amy. Oh, wait—I mentioned them already! But really, they were the real stars of the show last night. I want to be their best friend. Actually, I think I want to be them.

    Leonardo DiCapario's acceptance speech. The fact that he won Best Actor doesn't surprise me at all...he's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, and just an overall great human. I love that he thanked his parents, too. So sweet.

    Two things I'm doing this week:

    1. I'm finally going to start watching Breaking Bad.
    2. I'm going to see The Wolf of Wall Street.

    Next up... Oscars! Minus Tina and Amy as hosts, but I'll still be watching.

    What did you love best about this year's Golden Globe Awards?



    Images from People.com.



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    A New Year, A Healthier You

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    Did you make any resolutions for 2014? Most people make a few, and by the time January is over, so are the promises of losing weight, eating healthy, and spending less money. That's why I don't really believe in resolutions... because I know they can be so hard to keep!

    A few months ago, before I started practicing for Dancing With The Stars for Easter Seals, I started working out and eating better. No more crash diets. No more eliminating the foods I love, like bread. (Life without carbs is not worth it, guys!) And you know what? By eating sensibly and working out, I managed to lose a lot of weight, and I've never felt better. According to a recent survey done by Kellogg's, 97% of Canadians agree that a positive attitude can help them achieve their goals. I think this is so totally accurate. Seeing the glass half-full is always better than the alternative, and doing the things you love, and staying busy, are really motivating. So is being a parent, because there is no down time!

    To ring in the new year, my friends at Special K wants to encourage a positive attitude and outlook when it comes to managing weight by offering one of my lucky readers a Special K Positivity Prize Pack, which includes:
    • A generous supply of Special K products
    • A New Balance fitness monitor watch to help track your progress
    • A yoga mat
    • A copy of the book Everything Is Going To Be Okay
    • Customizable meal plans and weight management tips
    This is the package of goodies I'm giving away:


    Eating healthy for me begins in the morning, and often my breakfast is a bowl of cereal and some fruit. Kellogg's is almost always a part of my day and helps keep me on the right track when it comes to staying healthy.

    To enter this giveaway, leave me a comment below telling me what you're doing in 2014 to stay healthy.

    Bonus entries:

    Follow me on Twitter.
    Follow me on Instagram.
    Follow me on Facebook.

    Good Luck, everyone!
     
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    That's A Wrap!

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    How are you handling this bitter cold? Sadly, this crazy minus 40 temperature plus insane wind plus crazy amounts of snow is just another typical day in January, if you live in Canada. And somehow, after 36 years of living here, I am still not used to it. I am definitely over the ridiculous, bitter cold, and I'm looking forward to spring, warmer days, and little dresses... no more layers! Winter has been completely brutal this year, and I'm counting down the days until we go away.

    In all the craziness of December, I forgot to share with you my gift wrapping segment on CTV Ottawa Morning Live. Although the holidays are behind us, gifts need wrapping all year, so here are some unique gift wrapping tips for you, so the next time you have to give a gift to someone, it'll look amazing! One day, maybe I'll turn my love for shopping and gift wrapping into something more... but for now, here you go!



     
    Thanks for having me on again, CTV Ottawa, and thanks for all the wonderful supplies, Homesense!
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    Golden Globe Awards: Nominations And Predictions

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    It's been a year since Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made award shows worth watching again, and this Sunday, I'm more excited than last year for the Golden Globe Awards, because, well, Tina and Amy are back, along with some amazing presenters, like Robert Downey Jr. and Reese Witherspoon.

    Last year's Golden Globe Awards were fun to watch, especially for all the great red carpet fashion. It's my favourite award show, and I'm excited to see who wins this year.

    (American Hustle! House of Cards!)

    Here are the nominations, and who I'm hoping wins...

    Best Drama:

    12 Years a Slave
    Captain Phillips
    Gravity
    Philomena
    Rush

    I'm hoping Rush wins, because I'm a huge Formula One fan. (Also completely devastated over the news of Michael Schumacher's skiing accident, and hoping for a miraculous recovery for him.) I've been to F1 several times in Montreal, and it's such a great thrill. Rush is a re-creation of the 1970's rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda.



    Chilling, right?

    Best Musical/Comedy:

    American Hustle
    Her
    Inside Lleweyn Davis
    Nebraska
    The Wolf of Wall Street




    The clear winner here? American Hustle! I loved this movie so, so much. It truly was perfection, and the cast was amazing. Also, I love the soundtrack.

    Best Director:

    Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
    Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
    Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
    Alexander Payne, Nebraska
    David O. Russell, American Hustle

    David O. Russell, I hope you win for American Hustle.

    Best Actress, Drama:

    Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
    Sandra Bullock, Gravity
    Judi Dench, Philomena
    Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
    Kate Winslet, Labor Day

    Tough one, isn't it? My money's on Cate, though.

    Best Actor, Drama:

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
    Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
    Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
    Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyer’s Club
    Robert Redford, All Is Lost

    Tom Hanks, just because I love him.

    Best Actor, Musical or Comedy:

    Christian Bale, American Hustle
    Bruce Dern, Nebraska
    Leonardo Di Caprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
    Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
    Joaquin Phoenix, Her

    Leonardo is always fantastic to watch, and Joaquin will probably win for his acting in Her, but I'm still hoping Christian Bales goes home with the Golden Globe for American Hustle. (Have I mentioned I love this movie yet?)

    Best Actress, Musical or Comedy:

    Amy Adams, American Hustle
    Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
    Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
    Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

    Amy Adams, because, whoa, she was amazing and sexy and perfect in American Hustle, and I need her entire wardrobe. And some double-sided tape. And to colour my hair red.

    Best Supporting Actress:

    Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
    Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
    Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
    Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
    June Squibb, Nebraska

    Jennifer Lawrence was AH-mazing in American Hustle! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her.

    Best Supporting Actor:

    Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
    Daniel Bruhl, Rush
    Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
    Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
    Jared Leto, Dallas Buyer’s Club

    I swear I'm not biased, but yeah, I'm hoping Bradley Cooper wins for his incredible role in American Hustle. He was incredible. If he doesn't win, I'd be okay with Daniel Bruhl winning for Rush.

    Best Screenplay:

    Spike Jonze, Her
    Bob Nelson, Nebraska
    Jeff Pope/Steve Coogan, Philomena
    John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
    Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell, American Hustle

    Do I even have to say it? Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell for American Hustle! I'd also be happy with Spike Jonze winning for Her.

    Best Animated Feature:

    The Croods
    Despicable Me 2
    Frozen

    This is a tough one! My family and I loved Despicable Me 2 and Frozen. I think my boys would pick Despicable Me 2... and I'm... still... torn.

    Moving on to the other best part about the Golden Glove Awards: TEVEVISION!

    Here are the nominations, and who I hope wins:

    Best TV Comedy or Musical:

    Girls
    Modern Family
    Parks and Recreation
    The Big Bang Theory
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    I only watch Modern Family, so I guess I hope they win, although I've heard great things about Girls and The Big Bang Theory.

    Best TV Drama:

    Breaking Bad
    Downton Abbey
    The Good Wife
    House of Cards
    Masters of Sex

    Wow, really? Can we maybe give out three Golden Globe awards in this category? I think everyone will freak out if Breaking Bad doesn't win (they totally will, though) but come on, House of Cards is absolutely the best show on Netflix!  Downton Abbey is great, too. I'm hoping House of Cards wins.




    Best Actress, TV Drama:

    Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife
    Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
    Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black
    Kerry Washington, Scandal
    Robin Wright, House of Cards

    Taylor Schilling is great in Orange Is the New Black, but Robin Wright is wickedly good in House of Cards, and not just because of her wardrobe.

    Best Actress, TV Comedy:

    Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
    Lena Dunham, Girls
    Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
    Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

    Love Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep. But Zooey Deschanel is fabulous, too. Hmm...

    Best Actor, TV Drama:

    Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
    Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
    Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex
    Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
    James Spader, The Blacklist



    Everyone else in this category can go home, because this award belongs to Kevin Spacey, and um, Kevin Spacey. Of course a lot of people will be equally happy if Bryan Cranston wins for Breaking Bad, but yeah... Kevin Spacey!

    Best Actor, TV Comedy:

    Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
    Don Cheadle, House of Lies
    Michael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox Show
    Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
    Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    I don't watch any of these shows, so I'm going for Michael J. Fox because he's one awesome Canadian.

    Best Supporting Actress, TV Show, Miniseries or TV Movie:

    Jacqueline Bisset, Dancing on the Edge
    Janet McTeer, White Queen
    Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
    Monica Potter, Parenthood
    Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

    I stopped watching Parenthood (and Grey's Anatomy) because I was done with crying and being depressed every week. It was torture! Monica Potter is great in Parenthood, though, and Sofia Vergara is gorgeous and funny in Modern Family.

    Best Supporting Actor, TV Show, Miniseries or TV Movie:

    Josh Charles, The Good Wife
    Rob Lowe, Behind the Candelabra
    Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
    Corey Stoll, House of Cards
    Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

    Here's hoping Corey Stoll wins for his role in House of Cards.

    Who are you hoping wins?
    Are you as excited as I am for the Golden Globe's this Sunday?

     I can't wait... stay tuned for a full re-cap and a fashion report on Monday morning!
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    Five Amazing Beauty Products

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    You could say I'm really passionate about shopping for beauty products. (I'm passionate about shopping, period.)

    I could spend hours in stores like Sephora and Murale, and I often get lost in time at the beauty counters in most department stores, like Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew. I have many favourite make-up and hair products that are on my "I could not live without" list. Here's hoping these never get discontinued!

    Here are five of my most favourite products that I always recommend:

    Moroccan Oil: I love going to hair salons that use Moroccan Oil. It smells delicious. I also love the Moroccan Oil Body Lotion, because then I can smell yummy all over. The Moroccan Oil I use on my hair leaves my hair feeling silky smooth and soft, and doesn't weigh it down at all.  I use it every day, on wet or dry hair. It takes away frizz, too. You can pick this up at most hair salons. It is totally a hair game-changer. It costs $43.00—a little expensive, but trust me, it's worth it!


    Aveda Be Curly: Sometimes I leave the house with naturally curly hair and when I do, there is only one hair product I need to tame the curls and frizz: Aveda Be Curly. Like Moroccan Oil, this hair cream smells super yummy and out of all the products I've tried for naturally curly hair, it's the one that works best. Be Curly is perfect for anyone with wavy or curly hair. It's great at fighting frizz, helps bring out the best curl, and smells divine. It works best right after a shower, and you can just let your hair air dry. I also use it when my hair is dry, if I want to bring out more curls. Be Curly retails for about $23.00, though some salons sell it for a bit more. Shop around, or shop online at Aveda.com.


    Benefit Ooh La Lift: I love everything by Benefit—from eye liners to eye shadows, Benefit makes great products in adorable packages. Ooh La Lift is great to wear under your eyes, and just under your brow bone. This product is an instant under-eye brightening boost that helps perk up tired eyes, and yes, it works! I wear this after my other make-up has been applied. Consider this the best pick-me-up for your eys. It's $26.00 and it's sold at Sephora and Murale, or anywhere where Benefit Cosmetics are sold.


    MAC lipstick: Everyone should have a signature go-to colour for their lips. That one colour you can wear with almost everything that instantly brightens your face and makes your eyes pop. It's best to shop around for a colour that you'll fall in love with, and one that suits you best. My favourite go-to lipstick is my MAC and it's called Saint Germain. I love this beautiful pink!





    BADgal Liner: Benefit makes my favourite eyeliner. I love the BADgal Liner in black because it goes on smooth, and acts almost like a liquid liner. This eyeliner is also waterproof, which is perfect to wear on vacation when you'll be in and out of the pool or ocean! No need to worry about your make-up running. This sells for $20 at stores like Murale.


    Happy shopping, everyone!
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    Two Oh! One Four... (Do More)

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    I can't believe it's 2014 already!

    2013 went by quickly, and it was a very good year, with lots of ups, and downs, like any other year. A new year means new possibilities, new experiences, and doing more of the things we love.

    I'm not making any new resolutions in 2014, but I will do more of the things I love. DO MORE is my 2014 mantra, if you will.

    I am usually not very hard on myself if things don't go according to plan, but maybe this will be the year I set goals that are scary, goals and dreams that will take me a step out of my comfort zone. I think the beginning of a new year is a good time for some new goals, right?
      
    . .
    In 2014, more than anything else, I will do more of what I love. I will...
     
    Blog more.
    Write more.
    Travel more.
    Laugh more.
    Shop more.
    Love more.
    Exercise more.
     
    And I'll work hard at achieving the goals I set out for myself. After all, I love a good challenge.
     
    What do you love that you'll do more of this year? 
    
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