Thursday, May 18, 2017

Kick Off The Long Weekend In Style With Tide

Finally, the long weekend is here! The weather has been amazing lately, despite a little rain. The Victoria Day long weekend is perfect for spending time with family and friends, and getting away from it all, in the great outdoors. It's time to pack up the bathing suits and sunscreen and get the BBQ fired up at the cottage.

If you're heading out of town this long weekend, you'll be spending time packing and washing your favourite travel outfits to take with you– little t-shirts, shorts, comfy dresses and leggings, bathing suits, and sweaters, for around the campfire. 

One of my favourite getaways was last summer when my family and I and a group of our friends went to Mont Tremblant for a few days of relaxation and fun in a beautiful house right near the village, complete with an indoor pool, 12 bedrooms, and a nice outdoor fire-pit where we roasted marshmallows late into the night. 



The only thing I didn't love about the experience was the fire-pit smell left behind on our clothes long after the last marshmallows had been consumed. So, what's the best way to take care of your clothes when you're enjoying your getaway? The products that I love to use–and that work amazingly well–are Tide PODS Plus Febreze, an ultra-convenient 4-in-1 laundry product that cleans, brightens, and freshens each load, Tide Odor Rescue with Febreze Odor Defence, to help eliminate odours at the fibre level, and Downy Fresh Protect, which removes odours from clothes and provides an amazing fresh scent that lasts 24-hours or up to 12 weeks in storage. 


Here are some long weekend tips to help you have a great time without the laundry headache: 

1. Stock up on Tide PODS Plus Febreze Odor Defence, because they're super convenient to travel with, and they get the job done! They clean, brighten fabrics, fight stains, and freshen each load, even when you're enjoying your time outside.

2. Pack light! I'm a total over-packer, and I always regret it afterwards. For a long weekend getaway, just bring the essentials: flip flops, sunscreen, swim wear, towels, little dresses, leggings, and a sweater, in case it gets cool in the evenings when you're relaxing outside. 

3. If you're noticing your clothes have a lingering campfire smell, use Tide Odor Rescue with Febreze Odor Defence Laundry Booster to help eliminate this smell. 

4. I love using Downy Fresh Protect to remove odours from clothes, like the smell of chlorine from the pool. Downy Fresh Protect is easy to use, because you just throw the beads in the laundry with your clothes and towels. They work great on getting out the musty smell from wet towels that have been sitting outside all day. (Here's a handy tip: allow your towels to air dry until you're ready to wash them). 

However you're spending your long weekend, I hope it's with family and friends. Keep things simple and fun with Tide and Downy, and take the time to relax in the great outdoors. Happy long weekend!

Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Tide and I have received compensation and product for review.  All views and opinions are my own. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Affordable Gifts She'll Love For Mother's Day

Mother's Day is coming up this weekend, and even though we should celebrate moms every day for all the work they do, (truly, it's a 24 hours a day job... forever!) it's nice to give something special to the moms in your life—or to treat yourself to a little something sweet, too. I will say there is no gift greater than being a mom, and I feel blessed every day to have two little wonderful people in my life who love me very much.  The greatest gift of all is being a mom to my amazing boys.


I love giving practical (and affordable) gifts for most occasions, products I know will be used and loved. Here are some great suggestions on how you can spoil mom this Mother's Day, without breaking the bank:

Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner: Why not put together a hair and beauty package with some great products you can pick up from the drug store or grocery store for an easy gift every mom will love? The new Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner are a great set to include in your package, because this new shampoo and conditioner makes hair healthy from the inside out. This formula goes beyond surface cleaning to repair and strengthen hair, leaving hair smoother, with less breakage. The shampoo not only work incredibly well, it's also very affordable, too. You don't have to spend a lot of money on great hair care. Who doesn't want healthier, shinier hair just in time for summer?

Herbal Essences Bio-Renew Dry Shampoo: A little dry shampoo goes a long way, especially when it helps revive dull and lifeless hair—which this product does really well! It contains 0% parabans, and it purifies and protects hair from the inside out, for smoother, softer hair. The Cucumber and Green Tea Dry Shampoo revitalizes second-day hair with an instant hair refresh, while it absorbs oil, and lifts for extra volume. It smells so refreshing, too.

Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream: This iconic moisturizer has been reformulated to include new ingredients that boost hydration in your skin. The results? Fast-acting, long-lasting hydration, smoother skin, and less visible lines and wrinkles. This a great beauty product to buy to pamper mom (or yourself) for a fraction of the cost of other more expensive brands. The best part? It works incredibly well.


Alex and Ani: Jewellery is always a great idea, especially when it's affordable! Alex and Ani sell beautifully designed bracelets and you can buy some gorgeous sets for Mother's Day. With so many different styles to choose from, you'll find just the perfect piece for your mom. You can shop Alex and Ani at Nordstrom or at Alex and Ani boutiques.


Elizabeth Arden make-up: I love Elizabeth Arden products, espeically their amazing ceramide capsules. Elizabeth Arden has just come out with their new Tropical Escape collection. The Sheer Kiss Lip Oils come in six different shades, and give your lips a nice vibrant colour and a lot of shine. The FourEver Bronzing Powder is a combination of a blush, highlighter, and bronzer, giving your face that sun-kissed glow. The Dare To Bare Body Bronzing Oil is an amazing product that gives your skin an instant tan, with just the right amount of shimmer.



La Marca Prosecco: Why not elevate every day with a touch of luxury? La Marca Prosecco is premium Prosecco from Italy, and it's now available at an LCBO near you for under $20. It tastes delicious on its own, and it's the perfect Prosecco to use to make mimosas and other summertime beverages for those warm days around the patio when you're home. If you're hosting a Mother's Day party, make sure to include La Marca Prosecco to mix your drinks! It's such a beautiful bottle to gift, too.


Nike Athletic Gear: For the fitness loving moms, how about some new Nike running shoes and workout gear? There's nothing more I love than a great new workout outfit. It motivates me even more to make fitness a part of my daily routine. I put a few pieces to the test, and the new Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit Training Shoe are a perfect gift to give for the athletic mom.


Ann Taylor: AnnTaylor.com has some incredible timeless pieces you can shop for online, including summer shoes and wedges, and gorgeous dresses for every occasion. Ann Taylor also just launched a Mother's Day anthem video to show their support to mother's everywhere... a beautiful tribute to the mothers in our lives. (See below!). If you can't shop Ann Taylor in-store, order online; the process is simple and there is so much to choose from.


            

Cake Beauty: I love that Cake Beauty is Canadian, but did you know they're also vegan and cruelty-free, with no added harsh chemicals in any of their products? Here are two products I'm loving: The Do-Gooder Volumizing Dry Shampoo, because it's oil-absorbing, and gives hair an amazing boost of volume. The super light-weight formula lifts roots, and won't leave your hair feeling weighed down. It also smells so good you're going to want to use it all day long! The Locks Smith Dry Conditioner, because it instantly polishes your hair, making it feel and look soft and shiny. It's got argan and coconut oil in it, to nourish, hydrate, and protect dry ends, and it smells better than cake. (You can buy the dry shampoo and dry conditioner for $19 each, or as a set for $32 at Shoppers Drug Mart).


DermaBlend Professional: Have you tried DermaBlend yet? For flawless skin that leaves your skin glowing, Dermablend foundation, concealer, and powders give your skin incredible coverage, so you feel confident in your skin. You can read more about DermaBlend here.


Caudalie: Caudalie skin care products are part of my daily beauty routine. I love the new Vine Active Collection, and think these products would make the perfect Mother's Day gift. These products are anti-wrinkle, anti-dark circles, and fragrance-free. The Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum helps protect the skin from everyday aggressors like pollution and stress, on a daily basis, and you can see results almost right away, leaving your skin looking healthy and glowing. It's a light formula that easily blends into the skin with no residue.  The Vine Active Energizing and Smoothing Eye Cream helps get rid of dark circles and smoothes the eye area for a refreshed, energized look. Bonus: it also works great around the lips, as well, and smoothes lip contours. I also love the 3-in-1 Vine Active Moisturizer; it's a daily essential that's perfect for protecting your skin, leaving it hydrated and glowing. It's perfect for all skin types, too.



No matter how you're celebrating Mother's Day, I hope it's a day full of love for you!

Disclaimer: I have received the products listed in this post for review and/or compensation. All views and opinions are my own, and I only work with companies I love.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Show Your Heart For Maternal Health

On Mother's Day, I always like to reflect back to the happy days when I was pregnant with my two boys. Both experiences were wonderful and life-changing for me. I had easy pregnancies, where I was able to enjoy the many benefits of pregnancy bliss—guilt-free eating, relaxing, and just embracing my natural glow while watching my belly grow. I had relatively easy deliveries with my children, and I was surrounded by family, and supportive doctors and nurses.


Mother's Day is a perfect time to remind ourselves that safe, easy pregnancies and childbirth are not always the case. Every day, more than 800 women around the world die from pregnancy or childbirth related complications. When I heard this high number, it astounded me. How can this still be the case?  I'm so honoured to be supporting ADRA Canada and standing up for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH) this month.


MNCH is one of the most common acronyms used in discussions about global health, but many of us here in Canada haven't heard of it because in this great country of ours, access to health care and nutrition ensures MNCH deficiencies are the exception—and not the norm. However, in other parts of the world, MNCH is a major concern as maternal and child mortality rates are unacceptably high.


This Mother's Day, ADRA Canada—part of the world-wide ADRA network—is working hard to end extreme poverty in some of the poorest communities in the world, and calling on Canadians to show their heart for maternal health by helping raise much-needed awareness through social media.


The Show your Heart for Maternal Health campaign encourages Canadians to raise awareness for MNCH by sharing a picture or video of your hands places over your belly button in the shape of a heart, and using the hashtag #Heart4MaternalHealth.




"Pregnancy is a time for full hearts and joy, but because of poor maternal health in developing countries and remote communities, it often ends in heartbreak," says James Astleford, Executive Director of ADRA Canada.


The most significant causes of maternal and child mortality in developing countries are high rates of acute and chronic malnutrition of mothers and children. By increasing awareness of MNCH among Canadians, we are sending a message of hope and support—encouraging more Canadians to take action.


Show Your Heart For Maternal Health is part of ADRA Canada's EMBRACE project—a four-year initiative primarily funded by the Government of Canada.


Show your Heart for Maternal Health is designed to develop a deeper understanding of global MNCH in Canada and to drive involvement of Canadians. Nearly all maternal and child deaths are preventable and by helping to improve MNCH, we can help save lives. You can participate in this worthwhile campaign until the end of May.




Disclaimer: I am working in partnership with this organization and have received compensation to raise awareness for this worthwhile cause. All views and opinions are my own.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Spring Cleaning With Pine-Sol

Now that spring is in the air, it's time to spring clean the house. I love everything about spring–yes, even cleaning. It's so refreshing to finally be able to keep the windows open all day long, and I love spring because we're one step closer to my favourite season of all–summer!

Spring cleaning for me means doing some major de-cluttering of every room in the house, and making room in my closet for all the spring clothes I'm going to buy. It also means deep cleaning my house–the kitchen, the bathrooms, the bedrooms, and the living room and dining room. I love using Pine-Sol because it works so well on so many different surfaces. It's basically one powerful cleaner that can tackle even the toughest of jobs.

Pine-Sol sent me their brand new multi-surface cleaner in the new Spring Blossom scent, and I love it. This new Pine-Sol smells so delicious... and so very spring-like. The bottle is pink and the smell? A mix of Jasmine, Magnolia, and Orange Blossom. The house feels and looks fresh and clean, and well... perfectly ready for spring.


The next time you're shopping for your cleaning supplies, make sure you pick up the new Pine-Sol Spring Blossom. It's the perfect solution to cleaning most rooms in your house, and it'll leave your home smelling deliciously fresh and clean, too. 

Thanks, Pine-Sol!

Disclaimer: I received compensation and product for my Pine-Sol Spring Blossom review. All views and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Getting Healthy From The Inside Out With Align

Now that spring is here it's time to start thinking seriously about getting back in shape and healthy again, if you happened to have not stuck to a regular program during the long winter months. Hey, I get it–sometimes, it can be hard when it's so cold outside all you want to do is snuggle up on the couch with some not-so-healthy snacks. Although I try to keep working out daily and eating healthy part of my lifestyle routine throughout the year, I take it easy when it's not so nice outside; I still ski, and spend some times outside, but going to the gym tends to not happen every day. However, now that warmer days are coming, it's much more motivating to get my sweat on at the gym on a daily basis, and eat well.

Along with eating well and working out, I take a daily multivitamin and a probiotic supplement, Align. If you're not too familiar with Align, let me help you out: it's the number one gastroenterologist recommended probiotic, and it helps relieve and manage symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Even if you don't have IBS, it's such a great product to include in your daily health care routine because it helps with abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloating. The capsules contain Bifidobacterium 35624 TM, a patented probiotic strain.



Since April was IBS Awareness Month, I thought it would be a fitting time to talk about all the things we can do to stay on top of our health, from the inside out—1 in 7 Canadians suffer with IBS and it's more common than people think. I love that you can take Align every day along with your vitamins to provide ongoing relief of IBS symptoms, and it really helps your body adjust and makes you feel better.

We all lead busy lives, with work, children, extra-curricular activities, our social life, travel, and more–when we're busy and stressed, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves as well as we should. Stress can disrupt your natural healthy intestinal flora, and a probiotic can helps take care of that in a simple way.


Here are some ways you can kick-start your summer health care routine:


1. Get your rest. Believe it or not, sleep does a body well. I don't sleep as well as I should, because I go to bed past midnight every day, and wake up at 6 a.m., but I know the more sleep-eye I get, the better it'll be for my health.


2. Exercise. Just do it. Whether you're thinking of starting a new gym or running outside, there is no time like the present to start making working out every day a part of your life. No excuses–there is always time in the day to get your sweat on. I love doing cycle classes and a barre class several times a week Mixed in swimming, weights, and walks when the weather is nice, and it's easy to stay fit, and feel and look great.


3. Take a Probiotic. Adding a probiotic supplement like Align to your daily routine, even if you don't have IBS, can help contribute to a natural healthy intestinal flora. We all suffer from gas and bloating from time to time, and Align helps you body feel great by providing ongoing relief of these symptoms.


4. Eat well. It's easier than you think! Always stock up on fruits and vegetables when you're at the grocery store, include plenty of protein in your diet every day, and make sure to eat your greens. Once you start eating well, your'll feel so good you won't even be tempted by cupcakes anymore. (Of course, everything in moderation is also another good rule I stick by).


5. Enjoy the little things. Make sure you're surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, who are positive influences, and who make you laugh. Staying positive and happy will make you glow from within, and it also helps improve your health.

These are some ways you can feel and look better, from the inside out, in time for summer.







Disclosure: I created this post as a paid ambassador for Align Probiotic. All opinions and advice are my own and I only work with companies I genuinely love and have used prior to be being contacted. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Putting Dermablend Professional To The Test

I always love trying new make-up, and when I was asked to review the Dermablend Professional  line, I quickly said yes. I have been looking for a new foundation for a while, and thought it was the perfect opportunity to try this make-up because of all the great things I kept hearing from other beauty product lovers like myself.

Dermablend Professional lets you decide how much you want to cover up when you're applying your make-up, and with their easy to use online 'shade selector', you can make sure you're choosing the colours that are right for your skin tone. Dermablend Professional is powerful make-up anyone can use, created by a dermatologist. These products provider excellent coverage and they are dermatologist and allergy-tested. They're also fragrance-free—perfect for those with sensitive skin.


Here are the products I put to the test and loved:

Dermablend Professional Smooth Liquid Camo Foundation: This medium cover liquid foundation helps even out your skin tone and provides seamless camouflage, while easily blending into the skin for a natural look, leaving your skin with an ultra-smooth finish. (This product retails for $42 at select drug stores).

Dermablend Professional Concealer: This is a medium coverage liquid foundation that's perfect for covering up spots that need covering up, and helping reduce the appearance of dark under eye circles. It's a seamless concealer that provides an ultra-smooth finish. (This product retails for $27 at select drug stores).

Dermablend Professional Intense Powder Camo: I love a great powder that helps reduce shine and lasts all day long. This product delivered the results I wanted, giving my skin a smooth, natural finish. The best part is you can select the exact shade that is perfect for your skin, so it looks flawless once it's applied. I love that it eliminates shine all day long.  (This product retails for $38 at select drug stores).

Dermablend Professional Loose Setting Powder: This loose powder is perfect for setting your make-up. It reinforces wearability for up to 16 hours of consistent colour wear that is smudge-proof and transfer resistant. (This product retails for $34 at select drug stores).

No matter what your skin tone is, Dermablend Professional really has you covered. There's nothing greater than feeling good in your own skin.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Stay At The Hazelton Hotel And Fall In Love With Yorkville

One of my favourite places to stay at is The Hazelton Hotel. I have written about this property before, because I've had the pleasure of being hosted at this gorgeous luxury boutique hotel several times, and with each visit, I fall in love even more–though all my visits have been perfection. I love the location, right in the heart of Yorkville. Surrounded by great restaurants, galleries, and shops, you'll always have something to do... and plenty to shop. I love the Anthropologie and Free People store down the street. There's also many fine luxury boutiques as well as Pottery Barn Kids, Holt Renfrew, and more. 

The hotel itself is beautiful, modern, and incredibly luxurious. The rooms and suites are spacious, and the balconies overlooking Yorkville are lovely, especially in the spring and summer. The bathrooms are what I love most; especially the heated floors, the in-mirror television, and the oversized bathtub. 

The best thing about The Hazelton Hotel is the service. The attention to detail and the personalized care are what makes this hotel unique. Whatever you need, the hotel will provide you: car service, dinner reservations, 24-hour in-room dining, personal chef, child care, airport transfers, flower arrangements, and more. 

The Spa at The Hazelton is also highlight for me. From pedicures to full-body scrubs and massages, you'll leave feeling amazingly relaxed and looking your best... and hopefully hungry, because you're going to want to check out ONE restaurant, especially if you're a foodie.  The menu options are delicious, from appetizers to dessert.  






Of course, The Hazelton Hotel is the place to be seen during TIFF–you'll always see a celebrity or two coming in and out of the front doors, and there is always something going on in Yorkville that makes a stay there memorable. 

Here are just a few upcoming events in Yorkville:

  • Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival, is taking place between April 27th to May 7th, and over 200 films from across the world will be featured. The Bloor-Yorkville BIA is a Silver Sponsor and a Community Partner of this great film festival and Yorkville will be the hottest place to be during the festival. Book your dinner reservations at ONE now. 
  • The 7th Annual Yorkville Exotic Car Show is taking place on Sunday, June 18th–the perfect way to celebrate Father's Day! You'll be able to get up close and personal with over 120 classic exotic cars, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and so much more.
  • The Yorkville Village Summer Market, taking place in the outdoor courtyard of Yorkville Lanes will run every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from June 7th to August 30th–the perfect opportunity to pick up some of the best food Toronto has to offer including local produce and freshly baked goods as well as cheeses and wine. 
And there is more to come, too–stay turned to find out more about what exciting events are coming up in Yorkville this summer and fall!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

SupperWorks: Helping Busy People Eat Well

We all lead busy lives, and sometimes, meal planning can be a bothersome chore, especially if you're someone like me—a person who doesn't love spending countless hours in the kitchen preparing dinner. Yet, we all need to eat, so what's the perfect solution?

Thankfully I have Greek parents and in-laws who cook and drop off dinner for my family. (This is one reason I don't cook enough—or at least that's my excuse). However, this is not every day, so what's the other solution? SupperWorks.


My friends have been raving about SupperWorks for a long time, and I was finally given the opportunity to attend an Ottawa bloggers night to put SupperWorks to the test. It was a fun night with a great group of bloggers, as we all put together yummy meals to take home to our families, wine and appetizers in hand. I left with six servings of Beautiful Baja Fish Wraps, six servings of Glowing Goddess Quinoa Veggie Wraps, and a 4-Cheese and Garlic Crusted Chicken Breast for one—the perfect and healthy meal to eat for lunch when I'm at work. (The food, by the way? So delicious!).




SupperWorks was created by two passionate moms who came up with a simple solution for the meal time scramble: Provide recipes, ingredients, and a space for people to go and prepare home-cooked, nutritious, freezable meals, without the hassle of preparing them every day. The menu changes monthly, too, so you always have something new to try.

With two jobs, two children, and a million things on the go, going somewhere where all the time consuming work is already done for me—the washing, the chopping, and the clean-up—is time well spent. All I had to do was prepare my meals by following the simple instructions, and that's it. I prepared two meals in one hour—saving time and money.

Here's what else I love about SupperWorks:

  • You'll only find premium-quality, restaurant-grade meats and produce at SupperWorks, including plenty of fresh, local food.
  • You can have pick-up your meals if you're pressed for time, and you can even have your meals delivered.
  • SupperWorks is great for singles and couples, as well, as you can make meals that suit your lifestyle.
  • SupperWorks is the only meal assembly franchise in North America that's Canadian owned and operated, with ten locations across Ontario, including three in Ottawa—in Kanata, Nepean, and Orleans.

If you haven't had the chance to try SupperWorks yet, I suggest you go. You'll be as amazed as I was at how quickly healthy meals can come together in a fun environment. And you'll leave with dinner your entire family will love. Thank you for the great night, SupperWorks!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It's The Little Things That Count

You know the saying "it's the little things that count?" I find that's true for most things in life. The most meaningful gifts always come from the heart, and for me, that's usually a hand-written note from my children I'll treasured forever. It's the call or email to a friend at an important time, the hug when you need it most, and the small things we do along the way for the people we love–and for the world around us. It doesn't take much to make small changes that will have a lasting, positive impact for our environment. It's always a good idea to show our children the things we can do every day to help the world around us, starting from inside the home.

Sometimes I do several loads of laundry a week–it feels endless at times! (Is it like that for you, too?).  Even when doing laundry, we can be kind to the environment. I love that Tide understands the importance of getting my family's clothes clean, in a sustainable way, without sacrificing the results.

Tide has taken an important step toward a more sustainable future by creating Tide purclean. Tide purclean is the first plant-based detergent with the cleaning power of Tide we all love. Tide understands the best way to help create a more sustainable future is to make the products we use every day more environmentally friendly.


A great way to celebrate Earth Day is to make small changes to your laundry habits that will make a big difference to the environment and to you family. You can even pledge to take the Sustainable Laundry Pledge by visiting Tide.ca.

What's the pledge? It's simple!

Pledge on Twitter to make a positive impact on the planet by washing with cold water, using an energy-saving HE washer and quick cycle, and extend clothing life through care.

For every pledge that Tide gets between now and Earth Day (April 22nd), Tide purclean will donate $5 to WWF Canada's Count For Nature campaign, up to $15,000.

Isn't this a fantastic initiative?

I've been using Tide purclean for almost a year now, and here's why I love it:
  • The clothes I wash–even my children's dirty clothes from hours of playing outside–get as clean as they would if I were using Tide Original. The results? Perfectly clean clothes and no more stains! (This product works jus as well in in cold water–bonus!). 
  • Tide purclean is 65% renewable, plant-based ingredients, suitable for my entire family's laundry, and safe and gentle enough for a baby's load of laundry, too. 
  • It's free of dyes, chlorine, phosphates, ethanolamine and optical brighteners, and the Unscented version is free of perfumes. 
  • Tide purclean is HE-Compatible, and works in all machines.
  • The Unscented version is great if people are especially sensitive; but my favourite Tide purclean is Honey Lavender; a floral scent of lavender, jasmine, and orange flower with amber woods.
Take the #CleanPledge and feel good about what you're doing for the environment, this Earth Day, and every day. It really is the little things we do every day that'll end up making the biggest difference for our earth, and for our children's future.




Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated by Tide. All views and opinions are my own. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hop Into Spring With Kellogg's Rice Krispies (And Win An Easter Basket Full Of Treats!)

Spring is in the air, and Easter is only days away. I'm not an excellent baker, but there a few things I'm great at making for special occasions, like carrot cake with delicious cream cheese icing, and Rice Krispies Squares. I know, I know, even children can make Rice Krispies Squares, but there is an art to making these delicious treats–like making sure you use the right amount of marshmallows and butter to mix with the Rice Krispies. (Otherwise, they'll come out really hard... not that I'm speaking from experience or anything... ahem).

This Easter, you can put a spring in your step by visiting Yummy Recipes–Special Occasions section on www.ricekrispies.ca, and the Rice Krispies Canada Pinterest page at pinterest.com/ricekrispiesca/ for treat making inspiration. You can also follow Rice Krispies on Twitter at RiceKrispiesCA and Instagram at RiceKrispies_CA.

To make things even sweeter for you this Easter, I'm giving away a basket of delicious goodies from Rice Krispies that your entire family will love, including the new Spring Edition Kellogg's Rice Krispies Cereal and Rice Krispies Square Bars. To enter to win, just leave me a comment below telling me how you're celebrating Easter–or the long weekend! I'll pick a winner randomly on April 13th, so make sure you leave your email address in your comment. 


Happy Easter, everyone!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Taking Care Of Your Skin With CeraVe's Skin Renewing Line


To ensure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

What's your beauty routine? As a beauty blogger, there is nothing I won't try (as long as it's safe for my skin). I have my favourite go-to skin-care products that are part of my every day routine, morning and night—and I take my skin-care routine seriously, especially because I am not getting any younger.

Some products work amazingly well on my skin, where I instantly see results like more hydration, and firmer skin. Surprisingly, the products I love—the products that work best on my skin—are not the most expensive products on the market; in fact, most of my favourites can be picked up at the drug store. Sometimes, we're under the impression the more fancy the product, the better it is—and that's only true when we're talking about designer handbags!

When I was younger I didn't put much thought into my skin-care routine, and I know there were things I did that were damaging for my skin, like way too much sun exposure, using tanning beds, and not sleeping enough. Although I'm now a mom of two, getting my beauty rest is important to me and my skin. I love products that work when I'm sleeping, so I wake up feeling and looking refreshed.



The new CeraVe Skin Renewing products—the CeraVe Skin Renewing Cream Serum and CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream—work incredibly well on my skin and work when I'm sleeping, too. These products give you amazing results at an affordable price. I love how hydrating these products are; as we transition from winter to spring, we need the extra moisture to help us get over the damaging effects of the harsh weather we are leaving behind for sunnier, warmer days.

You can follow CeraVe Canada on Facebook and join their Dermatologist led  #DermWednesday Questions and Answers sessions to get skin advice, to find out more about their products, and how to take better care of your skin.

Here's why I love and trust CeraVe:
  • All CeraVe cleansers and moisturizers contain unique skin care benefits with three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and replenish vital lipids in the skin's natural protective moisture barrier.
  • CeraVe is recommended by dermatologists and their products are developed with ongoing consultations with dermatologists.
  • CeraVe Skin Renewing Cream Serum is an anti-aging product that contains an encapsulated retinol complex that is great for sensitive skin, and helps improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream is an anti-aging product that contains two biomimetic peptides that help improve skin cell turnover and elasticity, and it is designed to work at night in synergy with skin's circadian rhythm, when skin is more receptive.
As you start getting ready for spring and all the wonderful things to come, make sure to pick up the newest products by CeraVe to give your skin the extra TLC it needs. You will be so satisfied with the results!

Disclaimer: This post has been generously sponsored by Valeant Canada LP. All views and opinions are my own.

Step Into Spring With Stella And Dot And Win a $50 Gift Card

Now that spring is in the air, it's time to to start shopping and making room in our closet for colourful dresses, wedge-heeled sandals, and fun accessories that can take your outfits from day to night effortlessly. 

I love changing up my outfits with fun accessories, from sunglasses to necklaces and bracelets–and there's no better way to add cute and stylish pieces to your wardrobe than by shopping Stella and Dot. Whether you've hosted a Stella and Dot party or just attended one, I'm sure you've left with quite the haul–and it's so easy to do, because everything is so affordable... and super cute!



I love the huge selection of necklaces, bracelets, and rings Stella and Dot offers. And no matter your style, you'll always find something you love for yourself, or to gift to a friend. (And, bonus: if you host a Stella and Dot party, you're guaranteed to score some beautiful pieces for yourself at no cost). A night in with your favourite girlfriends, some wine, and fabulous jewellery is always a great idea.

To help you welcome spring back into your life, I'm giving away a $50 Stella and Dot gift card so you can choose something that's perfect for you to wear this season. 

Just leave me a comment telling me what you're looking forward to this season and I'll pick a winner randomly on April 12th.

Good Luck!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Falling In Love With The Dailey Method (Try A Class For Free!)

Spring is finally (finally!) in the air. This means it's time to start spring cleaning to make room in your closet for all the new pieces you have to buy this season. Along with spring cleaning your closet comes spring cleaning your mind and body, too—by eating healthier, and working out several time a week. I love incorporating a number of different activities to stay fit, but what I love most of all is taking classes at The Dailey Method.



I began working out at The Dailey Method last summer when I was invited to take part in the #DoItDailey30 challenge as a blog ambassador. Once I got through my first class, I was in love. It was more of a workout than I expected, and after the 30 day challenge I not only felt better, I looked better, too. It was so motivating and a lot of fun.


The Dailey Method, in case you're not familiar, is a group fitness class that helps you increase muscle length, strength, tone, and balance, while improving your cardio strength, posture, and motivation.  You'll feel the burn—in the best way—and your muscles will thank you!


Not only can you take these barre classes, (and easily book the classes you want to go to on their easy-to-use app) you can also enjoy working out and really getting your sweat on in the new cycle studio.


Dailey Cycle is amazing!


Dailey Cycle fuses The Dailey Method's signature focus on alignment and body sculpting with the cardiovascular benefits of indoor cycling to deliver a musically infused, balanced, full body workout resulting in a high calorie burn.


Here are some things I love about Dailey Cycle:


1. I feel incredible after a class. I'm energized throughout the class, and when I feel like I can't possible go on any longer, the teachers always pump me up and I get through it, feeling better than ever. (Also, the music is always so amazing!).


2. All classes are planned with an intentional purpose: Speed, Strength, or Endurance. Combined with music to pump you up, the result is a high-energy class that leaves you feeling super accomplished (and sweaty).


3. The bikes are top of the line and use the most advanced technology to accurately measure your ride (calories, distance, speed, and power).


If you are not sure you should give The Dailey Method a try, I am here to tell you: you can definitely do it! And once you do, you will fall in love with it like I did. You can go at your own pace, and take as many breaks as you want. Remember: you are there to have fun and do something good for your body.


If you`d like to try a class for free, just let me know and I can give you more details. Right now, The Dailey Method is offering unlimited barre and cycle classes for one month for only $79. Such a sweet deal!


The Dailey Method is the answer to achieving a fit, healthy, long, lean and toned body. Bonus: your core will feel and look amazing, too. Barre or cycle, each work out is efficient and effective. You`ll feel (and see) results right away, and you`ll have much more energy, too. Trust me. Your mind and body will thank you, and it`s perfect for everyone, whether you`re a marathon runner, or a beginner.


Have fun!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Two Weeks To Beautiful Skin With The New Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum (Plus A Giveaway)

When I was asked to take part in the #Ceramide2WeekChallenge to put Elizabeth Arden's new Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum to the test, I said yes right away–because I'd never tried these capsules before and because I had always heard great things about how well they worked. After a couple of weeks of using these little capsules–morning and night, as part of my daily skin-care routine–they've become a must-have product for me and they're a skin-care product I'd recommend to anyone looking for a serum that works well in giving skin the extra moisture it needs, while at the same time minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


These iconic capsules have been around for a long time, and have always been a cult favourite; now that they're improved and include two kinds of ceramides–a skincare ingredient that protects the skin while trapping moisture in–they work even better than before and have triple the anti-aging power. They work instantly in giving skin extra moisture, and they also minimize the appearances of fine lines and wrinkles. Clinically and dermatologically tested, these capsules will give your skin an awesome glow, and you'll never worry about dry skin again. They're like magic capsules of goodness for your skin.

You'll feel the silky-smooth, lightweight texture as soon as you break open a capsule and apply it to your face and neck, and you'll notice your skin will start looking and feeling smoother and firmer. The fast-absorbing formula gives skin the extra moisture it needs, especially during the dry, cold, winter months. Now that it's spring, it's time give our skin the extra protection it needs.

I loved taking part in the #Ceramide2WeekChallenge. Results? Firmer, healthier, and smoother looking skin in under two weeks.

I'd love for you to try how amazing this serum is for yourself, so I'm giving away a package to one of my lucky readers. To win, just leave me a comment below telling me something you do daily to take care of your skin. I'll pick a winner randomly on March 31st. Don't forget to leave an email address in your comment to me so I can contact you if you win! (Retail value: $98.00).   


Disclaimer: I receive compensation and/or products for my review. All views and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How To Host A Modern Family Reunion (With The Help Of Catelli)

Now that spring is almost here (we'll get through this last snowstorm, I promise!) it's time to start planning ahead to warmer days. There is so much to look forward to, like spending countless hours outside with friends and family. Remember those days? Hot, summer days that turn into nights, endless laughter, kids splashing in the pool, and adults enjoying cold beverages and delicious food... it's all coming back—and I'm so excited, because we've had a long winter.

When it comes to preparing a big bash with the extended family, Catelli Pasta has some great ideas for making your next reunion a special one. Not only is Catelli helping families across the country come together in a special way, with incredible recipe ideas that'll make the preparations even easier, they are also running a contest as a thank-you to celebrate their 150th birthday. (How timely, as it's Canada's 150th birthday as well!).

The Canada-wide Catelli Family Reunion Contest offers three generous reunion packages (each valued at $10,000) to be gifted to help families host their own unique and special reunions complete with a delicious pasta feast served by a celebrity chef.


To enter, all you have to do is log onto www.catelli150.ca and share why you want to bring your family together. Maybe you haven't seen each other in a while, maybe you're celebrating a special milestone birthday, and maybe you just want to bring everyone together for a good time. The contest runs until April 4th.


"We've been inspired by families across Canada for the past 150 years," says Claire Labrom, Brand Manager for Catelli Pasta. "Family is why we do what we do—what motivates us to create wholesome meals Canadians can connect over. So for us, the best way to celebrate our shared birthday is to say than you by reuniting Canadians with the people that inspire them, just as Canadian families have inspired us."


Catelli Pasta has some delicious and easy recipes on their site, too, so you can find something perfect the entire family will love. We've put a few of these to the test, and we love everything we've tried, especially the Rigatoni Veal Bolognese.






Once you've figured out what to prepare as the main meal, it's time to get creative with the family reunion you'll be hosting.


Here are some tips that'll help make your night of entertaining a success:


1. Get creative with the family reunion name: What 'family' means today is different for everyone—it's not always a shared last name. Have fun with the invite by giving the event a name that means something to the group. (Maybe a name of a city you all travelled to together to bring back the memories?). Reunion slogans never go out of style—reunited and it feels so good!


2. Add a touch of nostalgia: #ThrowbackThursday is a trending hashtag for a reason—people love to remember where they came from, even if it means sharing that embarrassing hair-cut from years gone by. Get guests excited in the weeks leading up to the event by sharing some classic photos on social media.


3. Make festivities fun: Take a cue from a cherished pastime and leave a Polaroid camera by the guest book for family members to snap some fun pictures to include with their message. For the social butterflies, design a SnapChat filter to enhance the sharing experience. You can even create a unique and catchy hashtag where everyone can capture the action and reminisce post-celebration on Instagram.


4. Celebrate with a local inspired menu: Use more fresh and local ingredients. If you're hosting a potluck, challenge guests to cook their meal with their favourite local ingredients, too.


5. Introduce pasta appies: Put a fun twist on everyone's favourite pasta dishes by making them mini. Pre-twirl spaghetti on appetizer forks, bake macaroni and cheese in a muffin tin, or serve pasta salad in tiny mason jars. Pasta appies are something everyone will enjoy, and you can make a big batch ahead of your big bash.


6. Elevate the plate: Take your cooking up a notch and make your guests feel extra special by adding simple yet elegant garnish. Char lemon halves or infuse your own olive oil with favourite flavours to wow guests with modern trends. It doesn't have to be complicated.


7. Toast with a twist: For the family reunion, ask the oldest and youngest to share the toast. (How sweet is that?) At a more intimate affair, go around the table sharing a short memory of past times together and a wish for the future.


8. Personalize the memento: Get creative with a  keepsake to mark the occasion. Follow-up with a simple picture frame with a beautiful picture of each guest or the entire group from the occasion.


However you decide to celebrate this spring and summer, I hope it's fun, delicious, and stress-free. Here's to entertaining and cooking ease... and making new memories to last a lifetime.




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

Friday, March 10, 2017

Avoiding March Break Meltdowns (And A Fujifilm Instax 300 Camera Giveaway)


It’s such a relief March is here, because we’re one step closer to spring—and saying good-bye to the cold and snow. March is all about looking ahead to sunny, warmer days and March Break, a time to reconnect with the entire family.

Since we do our winter travel during the months of January and February, we stick close to home during March Break. Staying home means finding ways to keep the children happy, active, and busy, to avoid March Break meltdowns.

Children often turn to their parents for suggestions on what to do if they get bored, and sometimes, we don’t have ideas to cure them of the dreaded boredom. Despite how fun March Break is, it also means we don’t get much of a break to do the things we need to do (like working, cleaning, and cooking) so it’s essential to have a solid plan in place. Although nothing can substitute one-on-one time with a parent, books and educational toys that get children’s creative juices flowing are great ways to keep kids busy, too.
Here are some tips on surviving March Break meltdowns:
Get kids outside. It’s probably the last full week there will be so much snow to play with, (here’s hoping!) so make the most of it—get them building the last snowman of the year, go sledding one more time, and head downtown for a walk around the market, ending the day with hot chocolate.
Take the children to the many great museums in Ottawa for some indoor fun. Most museums have great March Break events going on to keep kids busy and learning in a fun environment.
Have a movie night—during the day! Keep the shutters closed, pop some popcorn, and put in a family favourite flick.
Allow your children to discovery the world of play and creativity with some great Duracell battery operated toys, like the Fujifilm Instax 300 camera that’s available at Walmart, and let them take endless photos of the fun they’re having on March Break.

Stock up on Duracell batteries, to make sure the toys and electronics are powered up for endless hours of play.
When we’re home with the children for the holidays, we make sure we’ve got plenty of Duracell batteries on hand because they always come in handy. Duracell gives parents the power to prevent March Break meltdowns—and I’m thankful for that!
I’m giving away a Fujifilm Instax 300 camera and Duracell batteries so your kids can keep busy during March Break and throughout the summer months. To enter to win, just leave me a comment telling me how you’re spending your March Break. I’ll pick a winner, randomly, on Thursday, March 16th.  (Retail value: $149.99).

Good Luck!


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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Brighten Up Your Spring Beauty Routine With Olay and COVERGIRL

I like changing up my beauty routine every few months, and now that it's almost spring, I love freshening up my make-up bag. Flawless skin is always in fashion, no matter the season, whether you're going for a matte finish or a dewy glow—and achieving a good base is key, along with properly moisturizing your skin. After all, we had a rough winter and we're all in need of some major moisture repair and brighter shades of colour to welcome the warmer months back into our lives.


I thought I'd share some of my must-have products from Olay and COVERGIRL that are sure to become spring essentials:



COVERGIRL truBlend Bronzer: If your vacation tan is fading, you can still keep the glow going! For a bronze goddess look, use this bronzer as the final step after you've put on your make-up. For a look that glows even more, mix the bronzer with your moisturizer to add some shimmer and all-over colour. The truBlend Bronzer provides a natural looking glow and complements all complexions. I love that it's dermatologically tested and suitable for sensitive skin, too.


COVERGIRL truNaked Eyeshadow Palette in Nudes: The truNaked Eyeshadow Palette in Nude is my ultimate favourite eye shadow palette—not only does this palette have eight easy-to-blend shades in pretty neutrals to take you from day to night effortlessly—it is also incredibly affordable, at under $15.00.


Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash: I love silky-smooth skin throughout the year, and one of my favourite moisturizing body washes is the Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash in Shea Butter With new lock-in moisture technology, the results are long-lasting, moisturized, clean and smooth skin.


Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost Concentrate: I love using a great serum before applying my moisturizer, morning and night, and this Miracle Boost Concentrate does a great job penetrating the skin for added moisture. It provides great hydration for younger looking skin, and helps firm and lift skin.


Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream: This is a great moisturizer to use, day and night, and it's perfect for sensitive skin. With great renewal benefits that firm and lift for younger looking skin, results can be seen within one day. I love that it helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while hydrating the skin.


If you're shopping for your spring beauty essentials, make sure you pick up these products, because they work well and are super affordable.


Happy shopping!






Disclaimer: In working with P&G, I receive compensation or products for my review. All views and opinions are my own.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cake Beauty Delivers A Totally To-Die-For Dry Styling Hair Collection

As a beauty product addict, I've always been a lover of Cake Beauty. This Canadian beauty company has been delivering naturally luxe and cruelty-free products for the hair and body since 2003. 

Cake recently came out with an absolutely delicious Dry Styling Hair Collection and although I've tried many different dry shampoos, nothing delivers like Cake does. Also? Nothing smells more delicious. 


Here's why I'm loving the Cake Dry Styling Hair Collection:

Naturally Luxe: Each product is filled with high-performing natural ingredients, leaving you with truly flawless and fabulous looking hair that's not caked (pardon the pun) with harsh chemicals. 

Cruelty Free and Vegan: Here's something we can all agree on: products that aren't tested on animals are the products we should be buying. Cake Beauty believes in "beauty without bunnies" and that's why they never test their products on animals or use any animal-derived ingredients. Their entire Dry Styling Collection is produced cruelty-free and vegan.

Totally-To-Die-For: Um, yes. Cake knows dry styling and this collection works incredibly well. Not just a day after a fresh blow-dry, but for days after a blow-dry. These products will keep your hair looking and feeling fresh and smelling so delicious, you're going to want to use these products all over your body.

Instant Morning Makeover: With the Cake Dry Styling Collection, you can quickly clean, condition, and style your hair in the morning, leaving you with more time to do other important things... like drinking your coffee while its still hot.

The products:

The 'Do Gooder Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray: This is seriously the best dry shampoo I've ever used, and I'm pretty sure I've used them all. This product leaves hair feeling instantly clean with lots of volume. It's like a fresh blow-dry in a bottle that gives you just the right amount of volume–no back-combing needed! A few sprays of the 'Do Gooder, and you've got instant bouncy, bombshell hair with zero residue. 

The All Powderful Tinted Dry Shampoo Powder: This tinted dry shampoo is available in three tints depending on the colour of your hair. I'm using the one for blonde hair, and it's incredible. This product helps power cleanse second-day hair (and beyond) and give you extra bombshell bounce. 

The Locks Smith Hydrating Dry Conditioning Spray: Dry shampoo, I already loved; but this dry conditioner took my love for dry styling to another level! Cake's dry conditioning spray is powered by a trio of all-star oils: argan, crambe seed, and coconut (mmm, coconut). This light dry conditioner treats dry, dehydrated ends, leaving hair soft and shiny. You can use it on dry hair or on freshly washed hair for extra shine and to help fight frizz. 

All these fabulous products are exclusively available at Shoppers Drug Mart and cakebeauty.com. 

Thank you, Cake Beauty, for the goodies... I'm in love!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Effortlessly Stylish With Page Thirty

There are certain items every woman should have in her closet. These essential pieces (the building blocks for any wardrobe) will never go out of style: black and nude pumps, a little black dress, a great beige trench coat, a pencil skirt, a white button-down shirt, a perfectly fitted T-shirt, blue jeans, and a leather jacket.

I have been obsessively looking for a stylish and practical leather jacket, so when I received an email a few weeks ago asking if I wanted to review a leather jacket by Page Thirty, I instantly said yes. I was a little apprehensive at first because ordering online can sometimes be stressful, but I received the jacket I selected within days, and it fit like a glove.

I chose the black bomber leather jacket, Frankie. Although pricey, it's a leather jacket you'll wear season after season and it'll become the jacket you can keep in your wardrobe forever.





Page Thirty is a fairly new company out of California which specializes in contemporary leather jackets for women. The company creates pieces that combine sophistication with timelessness, and it's easy to see in each jacket that's available online.

Page Thirty jackets look effortless paired with any outfit, and I can attest to that; it's the perfect transition jacket, from winter to spring, the perfect Saturday night going-out jacket paired with skinny jeans and a sexy top, and the perfect jacket to bring with you when you're travelling. It instantly became an essential statement piece in my wardrobe.

I love that Page Thirty leather jackets are made from sourced Italian leather and are produced in Los Angeles. Each jacket is made by hand in small batches to ensure quality and exclusivity. I love how soft it is, and I love how stylish it is, too.

Thank you so much, Page Thirty—my new leather jacket is now one of my favourite things hanging in my closet!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Feel Good Half Naked With Swimco

I just got back from a hot and sunny vacation in Miami. One week away from winter (and all the snow) was just what I needed, except now, all I'm thinking about is my next getaway, even though summer is nowhere in sight.  One thing I love about travelling is all the shopping I do before I go away... like shopping for a new bikini or bathing suit, even though it can be stressful since the choices are endless.

I loved partnering up with Swimco, because this Canadian company knows swimwear well–after all, they've been in the business since 1975 and they're one of the largest swimwear retail chains in North America. Shopping Swimco online is an easy and fun experience with great customer service available to help you find just what you're looking for. They have a huge selection of women's, men's, and children's swimwear and beach accessories, and even though you're faced with a huge selection of swimwear options, it's easy to narrow down your search if you tell your online Fit Expert what you're looking for. Swimco prides itself on offering the best there is in swimwear and accessories, from the brands you already love.



Here's what else I love about this company: Swimco believes that everybody and every body deserves to feel confident in a swimsuit, and by providing swimwear that allows people to look good, people feel good, too, and nothing is more important than that. Swimco helps customers feel good half naked, and that's a wonderful thing. 


Since I already have dozens of bikinis, I've started welcoming one-piece bathing suits back into my life because they're so stylish right now. I knew I wanted a one-piece suit, in a bright colour. I was shown a blue bathing suit and instantly fell in love. Selecting my size was easy–I just gave my measurements and size to my Fit Expert, and after that, I chose a cover-up and beach hat to complete the look. My package was delivered within a couple of days, and everything (even the swim shorts I chose for my children) fit perfectly. (I loved the bright beach bag everything came in too!). 



I absolutely loved my bathing suit and felt incredible on the beach in south Florida. I can't tell you how many times strangers stopped to tell me how much they loved my bathing suit, asking me where I got it from. It was a great conversation starter. Feeling confident in swimwear–when you're wearing next to nothing–feels so good. 

Working with and selecting my new bathing suit from SwimCo was an incredibly easy and pleasurable experience, and I can't wait to shop SwimCo again. After all, a girl can never have too many bathing suits.

Thank you, SwimCo!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Living The Life Of Luxury In Bal Harbour

One of my favourite places to escape to is Bal Harbour in Miami. For those who love the life of luxury, there is no better place to go in south Florida.

The Bal Harbour village is stylish, luxurious, and relaxing. From oceanfront hotels to the best shopping in the world at Bal Harbour Shops, there is always something to do, whether you're travelling with friends, family, or as a couple. People watching at Carpaccio's in the Bal Harbour Shops, swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, enjoying a cabana at the Ritz-Carlton, or relaxing by the pool, Bal Harbour is simply paradise.

Quarzo Bal Harbour

The Bal Harbour Quarzo Boutique Hotel is a modern European-style waterfront hotel next to the Ritz-Carlton. This hotel features spacious accommodations and residence-style studios and suites—truly a home away from home for people travelling with a large family and children. I loved the clean and spacious rooms. Our suite had two large bedrooms, (one with two queen-sized beds, and one with a king-size bed) two bathrooms, two balconies, a living room, and a fully-equipped kitchen. There is a relaxing pool and garden area outside, too.





St. Regis Bal Harbour

The St. Regis Bal Harbour is one of the most luxurious hotels I've had the pleasure of experiencing. From the stunning entrance to the dazzling pools overlooking the ocean, it is the perfect hotel for a romantic weekend away, or a family trip.

At the St. Regis, you're surrounded by beauty everywhere you look, whether indoors, or outdoors. The Oceanfront Day Villas by the pool area (a short walk from the ocean) are air-conditioned, elegantly decorated, and include marble floors, a full bathroom and shower, flat-screen TV, daybed, large outdoor patio area, and several lounge chairs. You'll also have your own personal butler to take care of your every need, from food to drinks.

Tip: If you can, escape to the Remede Spa for a massage—it is worth it!





Atlantikos

A new addition to the St. Regis Bal Harbour is the Greek restaurant, Atlantikos. Having visited Greece over a dozen times, and being of Greek descent, dining at Atlantikos felt almost as authentic as dining in Greece, complete with ocean views. The decor is modern and clean, decorated in shades of blue and white, which reminded me of being back in Santorini.

On Thursday nights, the restaurant has live entertainment and plate breaking. Opa! (There is a set menu, or you can choose to order from the full menu). You can dine indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather. Although there are many wonderful options on the menu, I went with fresh fish for my mail course, and it was perfect. The service was exceptional, and the chef and general manager are Greek, which enhanced the overall experience.

Tip: Enjoy sharing the many traditional Greek appetizers on the menu with your group, from Greek salad to tzatziki and pita bread, as that's Greek dining done right.








Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour

A stay at a Ritz-Carlton is luxury, defined. I've stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Montreal, Toronto and Bal Harbour. The service at Ritz-Cartlon is second to none from the moment you walk through the main doors.

The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour faces the beautiful white-sand beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, and it's a beautiful hotel to stay at with the family. (It's also perfect for a romantic trip for two). Close to Bal Harbour Shops, there is plenty to do, however, my favourite thing to do at the Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour is to hang out by the pool and enjoy the beautiful views. We had the pleasure of enjoying a cabana during our trip, and our cabana came complete with a private hot tub, several lounge chairs, a daybed, flat-screen TV, mini-fridge, and personal service throughout the day. The kids loved it, as they were able to enjoy swimming in the pool, and relaxing in the cabana during lunch time.








The Artisan Beach House restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton is now open, and we loved the delicious breakfast that was served. I found it convenient that guests can enjoy the great buffet or order items from the menu.

The beautiful waterfront restaurant has tables outside and inside, and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu offers a great variety of food and is always changing according to what is in season. 

Tip: If you're driving a Tesla, there are two charging stations for you to use on hotel property. If you have extra time, make sure to visit the 10,000 square-foot waterfront Exhale Bal Harbour Spa and Fitness Studio.

Bal Harbour Shops

I spend a lot of time in Bal Harbour Shops every time I'm in south Florida. We frequently dine at Carpaccio's, a delicious Italian restaurant that's perfect for people watching.  My boys love the Italian food, but they love checking out the Lamborghini's and Ferrari's in the parking lot even more. The shopping is incredible: Sak's Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Books and Books, Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Gucci... you get the idea. It's a shopaholic's dream come true, and I can never get enough. It is truly my happy place. 



Although we just returned from our trip to south Florida, I'm already planning my next trip back. That's how much I love it. If you have any questions about Bal Harbour, from where to stay or what to do, please feel free to contact me. I'd love to help you plan your next trip! 

Thank you, Bal Harbour, for once again making our stay and experience perfect in every way. 

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