Thursday, September 24, 2015

Simplifying Your Fall Beauty Routine With P&G

Fall—my second favourite season, after summer. If we had only two seasons, those are the two I'd pick.

Now that we've put away the sundresses and flip flops (okay, maybe not the flip flops, yet... ) it's time to change your beauty routine, too, and keep it simple and effortless with new products from P&G.

I was on CTV Ottawa Morning Live talking about some great new beauty products from P&G that are perfect for fall—products that deliver long lasting, great results, and that are totally affordable, too.



Here are my favourite new P&G products for fall:

New Pantene Expert Dry Defy Collection: I love this shampoo and conditioner because it's really helped my majorly damaged hair. After an entire summer swimming in the sea and pools, my hair was totally dry and prone to frizziness, plus, it was a bit dull. After just one use of the Pantene Dry Defy Shampoo and Conditioner, my hair was smoother, (yay!) softer, (yay!) and much more manageable.


COVERGIRL Outlast Lipstick: It is really hard to find a lipstick that is moisturizing for the lips that lasts longer than my morning coffee. COVERGIRL's new oil-based, emollient-rich formula provides longer wear plus moisture in one lipstick. I love the new shades, too—Red Siren and Pink Shock are my current favourites for fall. Oh, and did I mention they are waterproof? Love it!


COVERGIRL Outlast All-Day Primer: Primer is key, and the perfect product to use to prep your skin after you moisturize. This primer extends the wear of foundation, hides pores, and reduces imperfections, all while providing a smooth canvas.

COVERGIRL Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation: I usually don't wear foundation but I really love the Stay Luminous Foundation. It's just the right amount of coverage, and it lasts and lasts all day. It's got light reflecting particles and skin conditioning agents that hydrate the skin to keep it looking healthy and glow-y.

COVERGIRL SuperSizer Mascara: Who doesn't love long lashes with lots of volume? The SuperSizer is the only mascara with a specialized Lash Styler. It has a narrow core and shorter bristles, which allows lashes more direct access to the mascara for explosive first stroke impact. Volume, delivered.

Now I'm totally ready for fall—new boots, new jean jacket, and new make-up to change up my look. Hope you're embracing fall, too—and if you have any questions about any of these products, let me know!



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


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

SoHo Met: The Ultimate Downtown Toronto Hotel Experience

I love to travel, and I especially love opportunities to review luxurious hotels in cities I love. This past weekend, my family and I were invited to spend the weekend in Toronto so I could review the beautiful SoHo Metropolitan Hotel—a 92 room, ultra-luxury hotel in the city's Entertainment District. The SoHo Met is a close walk to Ripley's Aquarium, the ACC, CN Tower, and Rogers Centre—the perfect location for anyone wanting to be in the centre of all the action. (I'll be back for part two of my review next week—an adults only stay!)



Our second floor room had floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of downtown Toronto, a separate dressing area with oversized closet, (heaven!) and smart technology, including remote controlled lighting, and motorized draperies.


The 10,000 square-foot fitness centre with lap pool was also on the second floor—and the large swimming pool was put to good use. My boys loved it!


The beautiful marble bathroom had Frette towels and a variety of Molton Brown bath amenities. The heated floors and large tub just added to the luxurious experience, and I loved the lighting in the bathroom.



SoHo Met is also home to Wahlburgers Canada, the award-winning burger restaurant from Wahlberg brothers Paul, Mark, and Donnie. (Also in the SoHo Met: Susur Lee's "Nouvelle Chinoise" Luckee Restaurant and Bar and Sen5es Cafe, where we were treated to a delicious breakfast the morning of our departure.)

We were invited to lunch at Wahlburgers (thank you, SoHo Met!) and it was every bit as delicious as I thought it would be. I can honestly say the burger I had was the best ever. And the service was great, too. We were seated right away, and the food came quickly. The burgers were cooked to perfection and we enjoyed every bite. My youngest and I enjoyed Our Burger, my oldest son had the Double Decker, and my husband had The Melt. The cookie frappe and the Banana Fluffanutta was oh-so-perfectly sweet and delicious, too. I know I'll be back soon.




SoHo Met is great for those traveling for business or pleasure, and it's a hot spot for celebrities, too—it's rumoured Will Smith is currently living in the the 4,000 square-foot 15th floor Penthouse Suite that was featured in Next Top Model, Top Chef Canada, and was also home to Madonna, Jay-Z, and Beyonce. The luxurious suite also has in-suite glass elevator, therapeutic Kohler infinity soaker tub, three plasma flat screen TV's, a state-of-the-art kitchen, two fireplaces, an 8-person hot tub, two bedrooms, five bathrooms, a library, dining room, living room, a rooftop terrace, and, of course, a full staff, including your own personal masseuse. Yup, I could live there quite happily...


Whether you're travelling as a couple, on your own, or with the family, the SoHo Met has everything you need for a great stay in Toronto's busy downtown core. From the excellent service to the spacious rooms, I can't wait to check-in again soon.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Give Back With Boston Pizza Kids Cards

We did it—we survived the first week back to school! I think this calls for a celebration of sorts, don't you? I love to surprise my kids after school sometimes by taking them to one of their favourite restaurants to eat. Boston Pizza is one place we love visiting—especially because the pizza is delicious!

Right now kids can even eat free, because Boston Pizza has once again launched its annual Kids Card campaign which raises money for Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects, which is committed to helping kids achieve their full potential through role models and mentorship. (Boston Pizza Future Prospects partners include Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Kids Help Phone, Live Different, JDRF and The Rick Hansen Foundation.)

Boston Pizza Kids Cards are a great deal for families—a minimum donation of $5 gets you five free Kids Meals valued at $35. (Isn't that great?) All donations support kids across the country by helping them access role models and mentors. Boston Pizza is also offering a sixth Kids Meal if you register your Kids Card with a MyBP account (which is available at BostonPizza.com or through the Boston Pizza iPhone app.)

This charitable campaign is going on until October 11, 2015, so you have plenty of time to show your support to the children by buying a Boston Pizza Kids Card for a minimum donation of $5.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects, and since its inception, the Boston Pizza Foundation has raised and donated more than $20 million to directly improve the health and well-being of children and families—simply remarkable. (Last year, Boston Pizza Kids Cards raised more than $670,000, and this year the goal is to raise at least $730,000—I totally think that can be done!)

If you're not sure what to do for dinner one night, head over to Boston Pizza and get a Boston Pizza Kids Card. The kids get to eat free, and you'll feel great because you've just support a very worthwhile charity. And nothing feels better than helping children!


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


Friday, September 11, 2015

Head Back To School With P&G And Win A $100 Beauty Prize Pack

It's time to face reality—summer is (pretty much) over. I know, right? Wasn't it just yesterday I was writing about summer and how much I loved living again?

After months of carefree living in nothing more than flip flops and little dresses, it's time to start thinking about fall clothes and make-up. Thanks summer, for being awesome—from BBQ's to concerts to pool parties and a trip to Greece, it was amazing. But now, I have some shopping to do! (I love September, and not just because it's my birthday month.)

Boots, sweaters,  jeans, and some new make-up will help you bring your fall look together.

Fall is the perfect time to experiment with new beauty products, trying on different shades, and doing something a little different with your hair, or even just giving your hair some much needed  love—after all, if you spent all summer in the sea and in pools, your hair is probably damaged.

It's easy to keep your daily beauty routine simple enough so that you won't be rushing in the mornings getting the kids ready for school. We all lead hectic lives, so we should simplify things where we can.

My go-to beauty products are Pantene, COVERGIRL, Olay and Venus. Hair, make-up, and smooth skin—and I'm out the door! (Oh, and here's another great thing—all these product are available at you local WalMart, so one-stop shopping with save you time, too!)


Here are some tips on simplifying your beauty routine:

1. Easy hair care: Wash your hair with Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner, especially after a summer in the sun. It helps repair sea-salt and chlorine damaged hair, making you hair strong, shiny, and healthy again! To get rid of frizz and help keep you hair under control, use the Pantene Pro-V Stylers All-in-One Styling Balm. It does it all.

2. Clear skin: The best accessory is your smile. Your second best accessory is your clear skin. Make-up looks best on clean skin. The most important thing to remember is no matter how tired you are at the end of the night, wash your face! I love Olay Total Effects Refreshing Citrus Face Scrub. Follow up with a great moisturizer, like Olay Total Effects Featherweight Moisturizer, which is light-weight and includes an SPF for added protection. (These skin care products are perfect for teenagers and young adults just staring university, and they are affordable!)

3. Less is always more: If you're playing up your eyes (who doesn't love a great smoky eye?) keep your lips simple with a light shade of lipstick or lip gloss in a neutral colour. Alternatively, if you're going bold with your lips—like wearing a nice dark red or pink—keep your eye make-up toned done.

To help you get ready for fall, I'm giving away a Beauty prize pack valued at $100 which includes COVERGIRL, Pantene, Olay, and Venus products, plus a $25 Walmart Gift Card, so you can go shopping, too—and #BeReady2Roar.

You can win:

Pantene Pro-V Stylers All-in-One Styling Balm

COVERGIRL Colorlicious Jumbo Gloss Balm (one in Sheers collection, one in Creams Collection)

Olay Total Effects Pore Minimizing CC Cream

Venus Swirl razor

$25 Walmart gift card

To win, leave me a comment telling me what you love about fall. I'll pick a winner randomly on September 30th. 

Disclaimer: I am a P&G mom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive product and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own. This giveaway may appear on other blogs as part of the #PGmom program. However, to be fair, you can only win once per giveaway. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Soul Of Motion: My Experience With Mazda

I've been a car girl my entire life.

My dad has always worked in the car business, owning dealerships and selling cars, so I fell in love with cars at a young age. Although I've been pretty faithful to one brand of car, I love learning about and test-driving other cars, to see what else is out there for me—a car I can have fun with, a car that puts safety and performance first, a car that has enough room for my kids to sit comfortably in, and a car with ample trunk space. I'm also looking for a car that's economical and fuel-efficient.

In addition, when I'm test-driving a new car, it has to be fun for me to drive. It doesn't take long for me to fall in love with a car once I'm behind the wheel.

I was invited to Mazda Canada's Soul of Motion event, where I had the chance to drive several of their 2016 vehicles on a closed course. The event was fully catered, but I was more excited about the cars than the food—especially excited to get behind the wheel of the MX-5!

The Mazda (Miata) MX-5 is a beautiful little sports car, a perfect car to road trip in, to feel the wind in your hair, and to just enjoy the drive while listening to your favourite tunes. Although I consider myself an awesome stick-shift driver, it was a little tricky letting go of the clutch in this car—learning the right time to shift gears took some getting used to, because the car can go very fast, very quickly. Which is an awesome thing, of course.

The cars against the backdrop of the sunset last night was a beautiful thing to see, too.


I'll take one in black, please! (I loved this car.)



Driving the MX-5 was comfortable for me, even though I was sitting pretty low—something I don't often love when driving certain sports cars. However, the experience of driving the MX-5 was sweet and I was smiling the entire time. When Mazda first came out with the Miata, it was modelled after the Lotus Elan, and the Miata is pretty similar in style to other classic sports cars like the Alfa Romeo Spider. The beautiful thing about the MX-5 is that it is relatively affordable.  A Mazda MX-5 GX starts at $31,900, and if you love convertibles, this is the car you need to drive.

Before I drove the MX-5, I drove the CX-3 which is a small SUV and perfect to drive if you have a family. It's roomy and well-priced. (A Mazda CX-3 GX starts at $20,695.) This car was dynamic and smooth—and handled turns really well. The interior is beautiful, and reminded me a little of the Audi. Also? Safety comes first with this car design, and that gives me peace of mind.

If you're looking for a sports sedan, check out the 2016 CX-5—an SUV that's fun to drive in any weather. (In fact, the 2016 CX-5 was named a 2015 Top Safety Pick Plus by the IIHS.) Also, with the harsh winter we get here in Canada, it's nice to know that Mazda's smart traction technology will help keep you safe on the road no matter the terrain you're driving on, or the weather.


I was totally impressed with Mazda line-up of vehicles I drove. Driving truly is one of my favourite things to do, and I was happy behind the wheel of all the cars I was in—zoom, zoom, indeed.






Disclaimer: I was compensated for my participation in the Mazda Soul of Motion event—however, all views and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Three Ways To Stay Fit In The Fall

Summer is pretty much over, even though we've had some incredibly hot days in September. (Which I'm not complaining about—I wish we had this weather year-round.)

Summer was all about being outdoors and being active. My boys enjoyed two week of all-day tennis camp, and we swam pretty much every single day this summer, including one month of swimming in the sea (and pools at our hotels) in Greece.

Besides swimming and tennis, we stayed active by taking long walks after dinner, bike rides, and playing soccer. Now that the weather will inevitably turn colder, I don't want to stop our routine of staying fit and active.

Here are three ways to keep on moving as the days get colder:

1. Layer up, baby! Sure, it's suddenly chilly outside, and you'd much rather sit on the couch with your favourite book or head to Starbucks for a latte, but once you start moving, you'll feel warm in no time. Also, this gives you the excuse to go shopping for a cute new scarf and jean jacket, so you can look good while you're walking.

2. Join a gym! I know many people love running outside no matter what the weather is like, but I prefer, as the months get colder, to do most of my working out in a gym. GoodLife Fitness has been my go-to gym for as long as I can remember, and I love that there is always a location open wherever I am. As long as my running shoes and my workout clothes are with me, I'm good to go. (Also, nothing is as awesome as Body Pump—it'll always be my favourite class!)

3. Try something different. If you've never gone running outside, find a partner, and make it happen. Or go rock climbing, indoors or outdoors. How about joining a volleyball league? Get outside your comfort zone to optimize your work out, and remembercthe most important thing—have fun while breaking a sweat!

Disclaimer: This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all views and opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Rediscover Nature—Get Outside (And Win A Trip To Banff!)

I have vivid memories of my childhood, and most of those memories involve me having fun in the great outdoors. Skiing, skating, swimming, dancing—I was very active and always on the go.

From countless hours playing at the park, to building forts in the snow, I only went indoors to eat and sleep. I remember building a space ship to take my friend and I to the moon, and I remember long bike rides on summer afternoons. We didn't need to text each other to know where to meet, and we made our own fun, wherever we were.

Being outside, getting dirty, and being one with nature—it's the most natural part of childhood, and it seems lately that this generation is forgetting that. As much as I love technology, (and I'm the first to admit I'm addicted to my iPhone) it's taking up a big chunk of time for young children who would be far better off playing outside.

Nature Valley asked three generations one simple question: What did you do for fun as a kid? Watching the video actually brought tears to my eyes, because my boys, as active as they are, also love their iPads and Netflix very, very much. There is a balance we have to find where children are spending more time outside than inside on their devices. We've got to help them rediscover nature.

Watch this vide, and you'll see what I mean:

 

Our relationship with nature is decreasing with each generation. Nature Valley is trying to change that, and wants you and your family to spend at least one hour enjoying the great outdoors on Sunday, September 20 for Rediscover Nature Day.

Nature Valley and Take Me Outside (a non-profit organization that champions children spending time outside and being active) are giving away a trip to Banff and Lake Louise! 

All you have to do to enter? Get outside on September 20th for an hour. 

Take a picture of your family rediscovering nature and post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #RediscoverNature and #MyBanff.

Winner will be picked on October 1st. 

(Full contest details here.)

Even if you're just hanging out in the your backyard, going for an after-dinner walk or bike bike, or paying soccer, just get outside, and #RediscoverNature. A trip to Banff is great incentive to get outside, no?


I'm also giving away a Nature Valley Rediscover Nature Kit valued at $50. To enter, leave me a comment telling me what you love most about spending time outside.


My boys thankfully spend a lot of time outside—we just got back from a one month vacation to Greece where they had very limited wifi, and we spent most of our days outside, swimming and exploring. They had a few weeks of tennis camp, and soccer, too—but watching the video is a great reminder of how important it is to stay outside and rediscover nature.





There is no time like the present to rediscover nature. It'll do you and your children a lot of good to step outside and got lost in a world where wifi doesn't exist, at least for a short while.

So, what do you love most about getting outside? Let me know for your chance to win a Nature Valley Rediscover Nature Kit and don't forget to get outside on September 20th and share your pics with the hashtags #RediscoverNature and #MyBanff!



a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: Although I am being paid for this post, all views and opinions are my own. 

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