The Bal Harbour Experience

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I'm back from my warm and sunny south Florida vacation, and I'm already planning my next trip back, because Bal Harbour is my happy place. Last year, I stayed at and reviewed the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour—and it was every bit as fabulous as you'd expect from a Ritz-Carlton stay. If you haven't been to Bal Harbour yet, here are four reasons why it should be on your travel bucket list.

Four Reasons To Fall In Love With Bal Harbour:

Bal Harbour ShopsBal Harbour Shops, named the world's most productive shopping centre, is paradise found for a shopaholic. Shopping in Bal Harbour is an experience like no other, and no matter what you're looking for, you'll find it. All the best designer stores can be found here: Balenciaga, Chanel, Dolce and Gabbana, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, Tiffany & Co., Valentino, Rag and Bone, Tory Burch, and many more. There's also Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, on either end of the mall, to complete your shopping experience.

The service in all the stores I've shopped in is great, and when you're ready to rest your tired shopping feet, there are plenty of excellent restaurants to dine in, like...

Carpaccio: Carpaccio is the yummiest Italian restaurant. The food is incredible, and since we usually travel with our children, I'm always impressed with the friendly service and how quick the food is served. Going without kids? Then take your time, because there is no better place to people watch. One of the best things about dining in Carpaccio is the view of the parking lot—yes, the parking lot—because this parking lot is famous for spotting the most beautiful exotic cars, and the only time you'll see a row of Lambourghini's, a La Ferrari, and more.

Gee Beauty: Gee Beauty is a pretty little skincare studio in Bal Harbour Shops dedicated to offering clients the best of everything beauty. You can shop your favourite skin-care and make-up products (I love their Gee lipsticks, I just had to buy Micro Princess—a creamy lipstick in a neutral light pink that's perfect to wear every day!) and I enjoyed an eyebrow wax and a make-up application by co-founder Natalie Gee, who was so pleasant to work with. I love their philosophy of "results-driven treatments and effective products" to achieve optimal results. Gee Beauty is also in Toronto, too!

The St. Regis Bal Harbour: Right across the street from Bal Harbour Shops you'll find the luxurious St. Regis Bal Harbour. The St. Regis Bal Harbour was recently named the best hotel in Florida, and as soon as you enter, it's easy to see why. From the beautiful pool area and ocean views, to the stunning, spacious rooms, this five-star, AAA, five-diamond hotel is pure elegance. I love the services at the Remède Spa, too. 

Of course, the dining options are incredible, from J&G Grill to the brand new BH Burger Bar, which we experienced during our stay in Florida. The burgers? Amazing. (Choose from the BH Signature Grind Beef burger, or the Jackman Florida Wagyu Beef Burger—both equally amazing.) The sides that are delicious, and you can choose classic fries, truffle parmesan tater tots and zucchini fries. The wings are a great appetizer—you'll be hard pressed to find better wings anywhere else. The kids loved their classic floats and milkshakes, too. While the J&G Grill is a little fancy for the young ones (although my boys loved it last year!) the BH Burger Bar is the perfect family restaurant for those vacationing in south Florida.

Bal Harbour is truly paradise, found, for someone who loves to travel, loves Florida, and loves the finer things in life. From incredible dining options, to luxurious hotels and the best shopping, you'll never want to leave. And it's the perfect travel destination whether you're travelling with children, as a couple, or with a group of friends. It's got something for everyone.

Thank you for the wonderful experience, Bal Harbour... I can't wait to see you again soon.


On Top Of The World At Mont Tremblant: A Review

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As much as I enjoy escaping the cold and heading south every winter, I also love going to Mont Tremblant to enjoy all that winter has to offer. There is no better place to take in the beauty of winter than Mont Tremblant—even if you're not an avid skier. A couple of days in Mont Tremblant will turn anyone into a snow bunny.

We travel to Mont Tremblant in the summer and in the winter, because there is so much to do, like skiing (downhill or cross-country), swimming (in the pools or in Lac Tremblant), biking, tennis, and so much more. The mountain views are simply breathtaking. I was invited to stay and and review Mont Tremblant for a few days this week with my family, and we had a wonderful time. My boys even skied for their first time, too. (Thank you for taking such good care of us, Mont Tremblant!)

What makes Tremblant a top travel destination, no matter the season? So many reasons:

Skiing: Mont Tremblant is a popular ski destination where you'll find tourists and skiers from around the globe. Here are some fun stats for you: Tremblant sits at 875 meters and the ski area covers 665 acres with 96 ski runs on 4 slopes. Of course there are excellent runs for expert skiers, but also some great runs for the skiers who are just starting out, like the Nansen, which is a 6 km run, and so beautiful.

Ski lessons: If you've just started skiing, Tremblant may seem intimidating. Have no fear, though, because there are easy hills to enjoy. The Tremblant Snow School is amazing, too, and you'll be skiing like a pro in no time. My boys learned to ski for the very first time this week, and it was an amazing thing to see. Our instructor was wonderful, patient, and funny. You can sign up for private, semi-private, or group lessons, and receive some great advice, improve your technique, and learn something new.

Get Wet: If you love to swim, Tremblant is also the place for you, even in the winter, because some of the hotels keep their outdoor pools heated so you'll be able to take a dip. (And have fun in the hot tubs, too!) My boys enjoyed the super fun Aqua Club this week. The Aqua Club has indoor and outdoor pools, water slides, a bridge, and more. The Aqua Club provides hours of entertainment for children and it was the perfect thing to do after skiing.

Wine and dine: No matter what you're craving, the village of Mont Tremblant has something for everyone. From Fat Mardis to the Ya'ooo Pizza Bar, to the La Masion de la Crepe, (mmm!) you'll be well fed during your stay. We had a wonderful dinner at Coco Pazzo, one of the finest Italian restaurants I've been to, with delicious homemade pasta and a great wine selection. The service was excellent, too. There are many yummy treats to enjoy in the village, like the Rocky Mountain Candy Shop and Beavertails. Heads up, coffee lovers: Starbucks is opening up this spring, too!

Relax and unwind: Mont Tremblant has many hotels and condos to stay in, from the luxurious Fairmont Tremblant, to the more casual and laid-back Tour des Voyageurs, also known as Tremblant's landmark clock tower, located at the entrance of the pedestrian village. The rooms and two-bedroom suites are perfect for families. All hotels in Mont Tremblant are located in the pedestrian village, so you're always steps away from the great shops and restaurants.

The Tour des Voyageurs is located right in front of the Cabriolet and the two-bedroom suite we were staying in was spacious, complete with a full kitchen. I do think the rooms need to be renovated, though, and more lighting is needed in the bedrooms, as the bedrooms are somewhat dark at night (though very cosy!). We made sure to enjoy some bubbly after skiing at the Fairmont Tremblant, a perfect way to unwind after a day of skiing.

We had a wonderful mini-vacation in Mont Tremblant, and we're already talking about coming back again soon. It's a short drive from Ottawa, and with frequent flights from Toronto, (Porter or Air Canada) it's a great place to visit no matter where you're coming from. Mont Tremblant is a perfect family vacation spot, and with March Break around the corner, there's no better place to be.

If you have any questions about my stay in Tremblant, send me a message! If you want to find out more about Tremblant, follow for the latest news and updates on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Disclaimer: Mont Tremblant took care of my accommodation, ski lessons, and ski passes during my stay, as well as access to Aquaclub La Source. 

Greek Style Brunching At EVOO

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Is is summer yet? I need to get back to Greece. A vacation in Greece cannot be beat—the sea, the mountains, the islands... and of course, the lifestyle, the culture, the music, the hot sun, and the food... oh, the food!

When I'm in Ottawa, I always crave Greek food, and I'm lucky to have a wonderful Greek family that always cook Greek meals. Even so, going out for Greek food is always a fun thing to do—as long as the food is as good as a home-cooked Greek meal straight from grandmother's kitchen. 

We have an amazing authentic Greek restaurant here in Ottawa—and it's my favourite place to go for Greek food. EVOO, on Preston Street, serves food that'll make you feel like you're in Greece.  It's a perfect hangout any night of the week, and the service is great. And the food? So, so good. Take my word for it—the tzatziki and pita bread, the lamb, the meatballs, the Greek salad, the french fries... oh, my taste buds! 

If you love Greek food, you'll love that EVOO is opening their doors for brunch! That's right, brunch, Greek style.

Join me (and the EVOO team!) this Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and enjoy complimentary mimosas (yay!) and listen to a DJ spin some fun 90's beats while you treat your taste buds to some delicious Greek style brunch food.

What can you expect? 

Real Greek Yogurt, Spanakopita, Spicy Feta Baked Eggs, Poached Eggs and Lamb, and a variety of Baked Omelettes. Of course, you can enjoy some "Boozy Brunch Cocktails", too. EVOO also has plenty of Gyros as well as sharing plates, so make sure to bring your appetite. 

Call EVOO at 613-695-3860 to make a reservation. You can also view the complete menu here


Books Turned Oscar Nominated Movies

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It's almost time for the Oscars, and I can't wait! I'm looking forward to seeing my favourite celebrities on the red carpet, and I'm excited to see who will win Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Picture.

If you're like me and must read the book before you see the movie, you're in luck because this year, the number of Oscar nominated books is higher than usual, which means you still have time to read these great books turned Oscar nominated films before February 28th.

I was on CTV Ottawa Morning Live today chatting about the Oscars and which books-turned-movie have been given an Oscar nod. A very special thank you to Chapters-Indigo for always having the books I need for my segments and for always keeping me reading at home. If you're looking to pick up any of these great Oscar nominated books, head to Chapters-Indigo.

Best Picture: 

The Revenant: This novel by Michael Punke has been nominated for Best Picture and Leonardo DiCaprio is up for Best Actor—will this finally be his year to take home the Oscar? The Revenant has received 12 nominations for the 88th Academy Awards. It’s the story about a man's journey of survival and redemption, and a true cinematic experience. Read the book first, even though the movie is incredible, too.

Brooklyn: Brooklyn, by author Colm Toibin, is the best book I've read so far this year. Number of Oscar nods: Three. Best picture, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. The book is about the life of an Irish immigrant and her new life in Brooklyn. It is a touching story and a beautiful love story—and love triangle—too.

Room: Room, written by Canadian author Emma Donoghue, is one of the best books of the year, even though it was published years ago. It's a very emotional read, about a mom who has been held captive for seven years, and it tells the story of her life with her son, who has never seen the outside world. Her love for her son is fierce, and the book touches on survival, and their escape from their prison as she strives to create a normal life for her son.

Best Actress:

Saoirse Ronan: If you were wonderingSaoirse is pronounced Sur-Sha. She's up for Best Actress for her portrayal of Eilis Lacey in Brooklyn. 

Cate Blanchett: A Best Actress nod for the always deserving Cate Blanchett comes as no surprise; her role as Carol is incredible. Carol is an upper-class woman in the 1950's, who embarks on a love affair with a girl named Therese, played by Rooney Mara. The book was written in 1952 by author Patricia Highsmith.

Brie Larson: Brie Larson does an incredible job in the very touching and emotional movie Room.

Best Actor: 

Eddie Redmayne: He's up for Best Actor for his role in The Danish Girl, written by David Ebershoff. This book/movie is about his transformation becoming a woman, and his experience being a transgender woman struggling with identity.

Michael Fassbender: Michael is up for Best Actor for his portrayal of Steve Jobs, and it's adapted from the book written by Walter Isaacson. The movie is about the life of Steve Jobs, and how he changed the world through technology. 

Matt Damon; The Martian is an entertaining, exciting book to read, and the movie will keep you on the edge of your seat, too. The Martian is about astronaut Mark Watney, who is presumed dead and left behind when a storm hits Mars, forcing his cremates to abandon their mission. Watney finds a way to survive under impossible circumstances and scientists around the world race against time to try to rescue him. The Martian is also up for Best Picture. 

Spotlight/Betrayal: This is a book written by Boston Globe reporters about the crisis in the Catholic Church. This book inspired the movie Spotlight, which is up for Best Picture. A truly emotional book, and movie. Mark Ruffalo is up for Best Supporting Actor, for his role as Mike Rezendes, reporter for The Boston Globe, who along with his team investigated the conspiracy surrounding the Catholic Church.

I hope you all find time to read these great books before Oscar night, and if not, head to the theatre to watch some of these great films. You won't be disappointed either way. 

Ontarians Encouraged To Use My CancerIQ To Reduce Cancer Risk

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We have all been affected by cancer one way or another. We have felt the loss and pain of loved ones being diagnosed with this disease, we have friends and relatives who have lost their battle, and we've seen friends beat this disease. These people are now survivors we can all look up to. It seems there is someone else I know who is diagnosed with this terrible disease every month, but the good news is, every day, more and more people are becoming survivors, defying the odds, and every day, there is more research being done and we're this close to a cure. Go, science! I believe in our lifetime we'll see incredible advances for the prevention and treatment of cancer, and we'll also, hopefully, be witness to a cure.

A few weeks ago, Cancer Care Ontario added two new cancers to its online cancer risk assessment tool: kidney and melanoma. My CancerIQ is a confidential, online tool that allows Ontarians to determine their personal risk factors for melanoma, breast, cervical, colorectal, kidney, and lung cancer. Since its launch last year, more than 175,000 people have taken the assessment and learned about their cancer risk as well as how to lower it.

With World Cancer Day 2016 just weeks behind us, it's great to have a free, easy-to-use tool like My CancerIQ to help those of us who have questions about our health and cancer risks. 

"With the addition of kidney cancer and melanoma to My CancerIQ, we aim to attract new Ontarians to the site and bring back those who have already received personalized assessments and action plans for cervical, breast, colorectal and lung cancers," says Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "We are committed to providing Ontarians with proactive ways to manage their health." 

The truth is, as many as half of all cancers in Ontario could be prevented by eliminating known risk factors. I did the My CancerIQ test online, and learned that I'm in a  lower than average risk for developing certain cancers, and about average for other types. It's interesting to see what we can do in our everyday life to help us reduce our risks. It's so simple, really: eat well, don't smoke, and stay active. I was a smoker for many, many years and even today it's a challenge for me to not smoke when I'm out with friends, or enjoying a glass of wine, but I'm determined to stop for good. 

My CancerIQ is a handy tool for everyone to use, and I think it's important to take a few minutes out of your day to check what your risks are, so you can start doing the things you need to do now, to avoid future health complications. 

For more information, follow Cancer Care Ontario on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation by using the hashtag #MyCancerIQ.

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

How To Achieve A Red Carpet Look With COVERGIRL and Pantene (And A Beauty Giveaway For You!)

It's mid-February and that means we're in the middle of awards season. It's always fun getting ready to head out onto the red carpet, and... wait. I mean, it's alway fun to imagine we're rocking the red carpet and being interviewed about what designer we're wearing. Even if we're not on the red carpet, we can easily achieve a red carpet look effortlessly at home. Without a team of hair stylists, and make-up artists, even. The secret? COVERGIRL and Pantene. 

Here are some tips on how you can achieve a truly glamorous look for a night out, even if it's not on the red carpet.

Once you've got your outfit planned (little black dress and a killer pair of heels, or a cute top and jeans always works!) try these beauty tips to make yourself simply gorgeous:

Ace that bace: Want glowing skin? Start with a base. Moisturize, every day, and every night. (And I don't want to hear any excuses for not washing your make-up off before bed! None!) After you moisturize, apply a primer so your make-up will last and last all night long. The TruBlend Primer is great because it concentrates on both the skin texture and the skin type—these formulas work with skin to help create a flawless canvas. Next, apply the TruBlend Liquid Foundation to cover up any skin imperfections. Beautiful, baby!

Bronze on: Say goodbye to winter blues and dull skin by using TruBlend Blush and Bronzer to contour your face and get a natural sun-kissed glow. You'll look like you just got back from somewhere warm and tropical.

Highlight your eyes: I love eye shadow palettes that have all my favourite colours together. It makes applying my eye make-up easier. I love the natural tones of the COVERGIRL trunaked shadow palettes. You can have fun mixing and matching the colours, and no matter what, you'll achieve a nice look, whether you're going for a matte or shimmery finish. You can even achieve a killer smoky eye look, too, with the trunaked eyeliner duos.

Lip service: For truly kissable lips, you need lips that are moisturized and soft. The new Oh Sugar! Moisturizing Lip Treatment delivers instant moisture, and contains grapeseed oil, avocado butter, and vitamins C and E. It comes in ten shades of lightweight colour and it's the perfect lip gloss to wear all winter long. 

Let your hair bounce: Hair should be soft and bouncy—natural looking, not stiff and over-processed. Pantene's Airspray is alcohol free, has a delicious scent, and locks in your hair style without making it feel dry. 

I have tried (and LOVE!) all these products, and now I'd love for you to try them, too. I know you'll love them as much as I do. 

I'm giving away a Red Carpet Ready Bundle valued at $85 that includes: 

Oh Sugar! Moisturizing Lip Treatment
trunaked Shadow Palettes 
trunaked Waterproof Eyeliner duos
TruBlend Primer
TruBlend Foundation
TruBlend Blush and Bronzer
Pantene Air spray

To win, just leave me a comment below telling me what make-up product you can't leave home without! I'll randomly pick a winner on March 30th, 2016.

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 opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own. P&G has provided me with the products I'm using as the prizes for this contest. The contest is not otherwise endorsed, designed and/or administered by or associated with P&G. 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 close date to receive your prize. 

Red Carpet Grammy #MusicGlam Party With P&G

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I was in Toronto yesterday for a Red Carpet Grammy Viewing Party with P&G, in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart. I had a great flight into the city with Porter Airlines, as always, and arrived to my hotel with enough time to relax and get ready for the big Grammy party.

Outfit of choice? My new Free People dress—perfect for this event. A little flow-y, a little fun, a  little flirty—and perfect to mingle in!

It was a night of glamour and fun as we watched the stars arrive on the red carpet (how cute were Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez?), dished on the best looks of the night, and talked about the best hair products and make-up to wear on the red carpet—and every day, really. We talked fashion, hair, and make-up with ET Canada reporter Sangita Patel, Pantene Pro-V hair stylist Justin German, and COVERGIRL make-up artists Veronica Chu. These three know a thing or two about achieving the right look, and listening to them talk about their favourite beauty looks and who they loved on the red carpet was so much fun. And the beauty tips? So useful.

The drinks were flowing all night, and the food was delicious (So much to choose from, from all the different food stations.) And the sweets and treats? So yummy! I loved the set-up of the room, and the fun way COVERGIRL, Pantene, Olay, and Crest interacted with us and let us try (and take home!) some fabulous products.

The hair and make-up touch-up stations were a blast, too—the Pantene Pro-V Dry Shampoo is delicious and feels so great in my hair. It still keeps hair bouncy, too! (Also, out of all the conditioners I've ever tried, none work as perfectly on my hair like Pantene. True story. It's the best.)

I loved the pretty white decor so we could sit comfortably while watching the Grammys.

A highlight of the evening? Meeting the new shopping blogger for Yummy Mummy Club. It was the past (me!) and present shopping bloggers united, at last! Of course, it was lovely to spend time with my friends from P&G, too, and Diana. Only problem? It's never enough time to hang out with new and old friends.

How gorgeous is this decor, seriously?

The #MusicGlam party was a blast, and even though I didn't stay overnight like I planned because of a huge snowstorm and cancelled flights in Ottawa, I was so happy that I was able to be there for the  Grammy fun. (I hope you followed along during our Twitter party!)

I'm loving the new make-up by COVERGIRL, too.... like the trunaked eyeshadow palette. It's under $12.00 and just as good as any of the other way more expensive eye shadow palettes out there. The colours are perfect, and can take you from day to night effortlessly.

The Colorlicious Oh Sugar! vitamin infused balm is also perfect for dry lips (hello, winter!) and is packed with good things like grapeseed oil, avocado butter, and vitamin C and E. I love the sheer colour of Cupcake and Gumdrop, too.

So the next time you're getting ready for a glam night out, head to Shoppers to stock up on the latest from COVERGIRL for a sweet look that's totally affordable, too. P&G has you covered, literally... for you best dazzling smile (thanks, Crest!) to your clearest, most youthful looking skin (thanks, Olay!) to your softest, full of bounce hair (thanks, Pantene!) you'll be able to re-create any red carpet look at home.

Thank you, P&G, for the wonderful invitation to attend your #MusicGlam party in Toronto. I love being a P&G mom. The party was a blast, and a red carpet success!

A Netflix Addiction

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When I finish a great book, it always takes me at least a week to pick up something new to read, even though my night table is stacked with books just waiting to be read. I'm the same when I watch television; once I start watching a show, I will not watch anything else and I get easily addicted to what I'm watching on Netflix. Of course, I binge watch seasons of my favourite shows like it's a completely normal thing to do. Just one more episode... just... one... more... until the next thing I know it's 3 a.m. and I have to wake up at 6 a.m. Oh, Netflix, how I love you.

My favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad, and believe it or not, it's been impossibly hard for me to get into any new shows even though I keep meaning to watch Friday Night Lights, Pretty Little Liars, and Making a Murderer. And I've got to get back to Downton Abbey. I've watched Orange Is The New Black, and another favourite show of mine is House of Cards.

And, you guys? House of Cards is coming back... and I'm ready. I think. Are you read for more Frank Underwood? Every season shocks me in the most unexpected ways. (Remember when... *shudder* and when... OMG! Right?) House of Cards is back for season four. And I'm ready for FU. Well, maybe not ready... but super excited.

I am so glad to be part of the Netflix #StreamTeam for another year. It's always fun to get special access to shows I love or that my family will love, and to be part of the great #StreamTeam.

What are you looking forward to watching this year? I know my sister is super pumped to see Fuller House, because Full House was her favourite show of all time when she was younger. It's still in her top two favourite shows of all time, tied with Friends.

And I've got access to the first six episodes of Fuller House, too. Hmm... I can let her watch but what should I get in return? Strategically thinking...

Happy Netflix viewing, friends.

Disclosure: As party of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I receive special perks and access to shows with the Netflix Canada Stream Team. All views and opinions are my own. 


Hot Books To Curl Up With This Winter (And To Read Before The Oscars!)

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Here are three things I love: traveling, reading, and shopping.

I need to have at least three or four books on my night table waiting to be read when I'm in the middle of a book, knowing it'll take me a day or two to get over the last book I've read. (I just finished reading Brooklyn, and oh, my God—it was amazing. Now I have to see the movie before the Oscars!)

I was on Daytime Ottawa today talking about the hottest books to read this winter. If you've been searching for your next great read, I've got a list for you!

Valentine's Day Books To Love:

Chasers of the Light—Poems from the Typewriter Series: This great collection of beautiful love poems is written by author Tyler Knott Greyson. Another great book by Tyler Knott Greyson /All The Words Are Yours. Both books make great books to give and to receive this month. Truly beautiful and inspirational. You can read from the author on Instagram.

Me Before You: This is a touching, unexpected love story by Jojo Moyes that will make you cry, so have the Kleenex box nearby when you start reading. Read this book before it hits the big screen. I always love reading the book before watching the movie.

I Love You Through And Through: This classic children's book is the perfect gift for young kids for Valentine's Day. Every child's library should have this book.

The Vintage Guide To Love And Romance: This is a cute book written by Kirsty Greenwood about a modern girl and old-school rules. It's a fun, modern read, and a great book to gift a friend this Valentine's Day.

Modern Romance: A book about modern romance written by hilarious comedian Aziz Ansari? Yes, please! This is a funny, thoughtful, fun read about modern romance, and about relationships in today's day and age. Aziz Ansari also has his own series on Netflix if you can't get enough.

Romance Is My Day Job: Written by Patience Bloom, real-life Harlequin editor, this book is about romance, love, and everythign in between. Sort of a cross between Briget Jones meets Sex In The City, it's a fun, modern fairy tale and a perfect beach read for your winter escape down south.

Books Turned Movies Turned Oscar Nominations:

Brooklyn: Brooklyn, by author Colm Toibin, is the best book I've read so far this year, and I'm so looking forward to seeing the movie now. Brooklyn is up for Best Picture, and Satires Ronan has a Best Actress nomination for her role as Eilis Lacey. The book is about the life of an Irish immigrant and her new life in Brooklyn. It is a touching story and a beautiful love story, too.

The Revenant: This novel by Michael Punke has been nominated for Best Picture and Leonardo DiCaprio is up for Best Actor. It's the story about a man's journey of survival and redemption, and a true cinematic experience. Read the book first, even though the movie is incredible, too.

Room: Room, written by Emma Donoghue, is one of the best books of the year—it's a very emotional read. Room is about a mom who has been held captive for seven years, and her life with her son, who has never seen the outside world. Her love for her son is fierce, and the book touches on love, survival, and their escape from their prison. Room is up for Best Picture and Brie Larson is up for Best Actress, too.

Betrayal: This is a book written by Boston Globe reporters about the crisis in the Catholic Church. This book inspired the movie Spotlight, which is up for Best Picture. A truly emotional book, and movie.

Steve Jobs: Written by author Walter Isaacson, the book and the movie is all about the life of Steve Jobs, and how he changed the world through technology. The book is based on more than 40 interviews, and interviews with family and friends, and it's a great read to get to know Jobs better, and how he became the success he was.

Two other great books to read that you'll love—Carol and The Danish Girl—are also in the Oscar race. Cate Blanchett is up for Best Actress for her portrayal of Carol Aird, an upper-class woman in the 1950's, who embarks on a love affair with a shopgirl named Therese, played by Rooney Mara. The book was written in 1952 by author Patricia Highsmith. The Danish Girl, by David Ebershoff, is about Lili Elbe, a transgender woman struggling with her identity and one of the first known recipients of gender-confirmation surgery. Eddie Redmayne is up for Best Actor for his role in this movie.

Hot New Books: 

If you're still looking for something good to read, here you go:

The High Mountains of Portugal: This book, by Yann Martel, is. "...part quest, part ghost story, part contemporary fable—offers a haunting exploration of great love and great loss." 

When Breath Becomes Air: This memoir was written by author and doctor Paul Kalanithi, and asks the question: what makes life worth living in the face of death? It's not an easy read, and touches on the challenges of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient.

The Lucky Years: This book is all about how we can thrive in this world, by David B. Agus, M.D.

The Art Of Stillness—Adventures In Going Nowhere: This book is by author Pico Iyer. Is stillness the ultimate adventure? This book talks about the age old practice of slowing down.

Grace and Style—The Art Of Pretending You Have It: This funny book (filled with cute pictures) is written by Grace Helbig, bestselling author of Grace's Guide, and comedian, actress, and YouTube personality. This book talks about things like the ten commandments of online shopping, cleaning out your closet, and hair, makeup and accessories. Yes, please!

Happy reading, friends. May your February be short, filled with love, warm drinks and red, red wine, and may you fall in love with some of these great books like I have.

Shopping Smart For Designer Sunglasses With

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I have a thing for sunglasses—I can never get enough, and I always love buying new shades. I wear sunglasses every day, and love stocking up on new pairs I fall in love with. I have a few favourite pairs from Chanel and Gucci, and one of my favourite places to get new shades is from

I love partnering with because they offer an excellent variety of glasses to suit anyone's style—and they have a great selection of the latest from Ray-Ban, Gucci, Fendi, and Burberry. just sent me these gorgeous shades from Gucci, and I'm in love! If you're looking for a great gift idea (hmm, Valentine's Day is just around the corner!) for yourself or to give the love of your life, I think a new pair of sunglasses would make the perfect gift. And the prices cannot be beat, seriously. always delivers what I want, from the style to the brands I love, and the service is excellent, too. No need to shop in-store when there are so many great styles online. Shopping from the comfort of your own home? What could be better, right? SmartBuyGlasses is always fully dedicated to providing their customers with the largest range of designer sunglasses, prescription eyewear, contact lenses, optical products and optical services last the best possible prices. And having had the great pleasure of experiencing their services more than once, I can tell you, you'll be completely satisfied when you shop

Happy shopping, friends! Stay stylish in your new shades!
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