A Standout Spa At The Diplomat Resort

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's All Science To Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top Five Reasons to Shop At Nordstrom Ottawa #NordstromOTT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These are just five of many reasons I love Nordstrom.

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

Happy shopping, Ottawa.

Living The Good Life (With GoodLife Fitness)

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Spring is finally—finally—in the air.

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

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

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

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

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

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Check List

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Spring is officially here, even though there is still a lot of snow on the ground. Despite the less than seasonal temperatures and the snow,  I'm still excited, because I've been looking forward to spring since January. I really dislike winter because it lasts way longer than it should. There is nothing I enjoy more than welcoming spring back into my life and the best way to do this is by spring cleaning my home. Yes, cleaning can be fun, you guys. Especially when I'm cleaning out my closet to make room for new clothes and shoes for spring. Out with black, and in with colour!

Here are some ways you can make spring cleaning your home a little easier:

Make Doormats Welcoming: They're the front line against tracking in dirt, so keep them clean enough to function efficiently. If they're extremely soiled, soak them in warm water mixed with a scoop of of OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover for six hours then wash as directed—even the toughest stains get washed away. Remember to always follow manufacturers care instructions.

Organizing Closets: This is a big one. My entrance closet is filled with boots, coats, jackets, scarves, hats and snow pants. Yuck. You bet I'm excited to get all the winter gear put away in our basement storage, so the closet is free of coats! Organzing the closet is the first step to organizing the rest of your home. It is a great place to start, since it's the place where you greet visitors into your home. Welcome, friends, and welcome, spring! Donate clothes you know you won't use again, toss old boots that have seen better days, and de-clutter! For the clothes that you do keep, ensure they are crisp for the new season ahead of time by laundering with OxiClean™ Liquid Laundry Detergent. It attacks dirt and tough stains left by harsh winter, and will leave them smelling spring fresh.

Make Your Dishes Shine: With the arrival of spring comes the arrival of home dinner parties and backyard BBQ's, as soon as all the snow is gone.  Make sure your dishes and glasses are party ready by using OxiClean™ Extreme Power Crystals™ Dishwasher Detergent Paks to tackle tough stains and stuck-on food. The best part? No more pre-washing needed, so you'll have time to relax after the party.

Carpet Cleaning: Fabrics that have absorbed a winter's worth of dirt will need a deep clean to get them ready for another year of wear. Shampooing your carpets is a good start, but for tougher stains, use OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover—simply mix a little bit of the stain remover with warm water as per the instructions on the label and blot with a clean towel until the stain disappears. Always rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Patio Season: Patio Season! YES! And yes, it's not exactly that warm out yet, but Canadians are tough and can handle a little cold, right? As soon as the snow starts melting, it's a good time to start thinking of warmer weather and the fun you'll be having otuside on your patio. Remove any large debris such as sticks, branches, and leaves, and use your garden hose to wash away as much of the winter dirt as possible. Tackle stains left on outdoor furniture with OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover—it's chlorine-free and colour-safe so you can use it on gutters and unifinished decks, too.

Now you're ready for spring... and spring shopping, now that the hard work is out of the way!

Disclaimer: I'm part of the Church and Dwight Blogger Ambassador Program. I receive compensation and special perks and products as part of my affiliation with this group. All views and opinions are my own.


Engerizer Giveaway In Time For March Break

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enter here:
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Good Luck!
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