Choose Your Own Adventure With Netflix

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It’s already mid-July, and summer is flying by. As usual, summer is a busy time for us, with camp, activities, and enjoying the great outdoors every day. My boys spend have spent most of their summer days swimming, which is wonderful. However, we’ve also had quite a few rainy days this month, and that calls for indoor activities. While we do limit our TV watching in the summer months, there is always something on Netflix I know my boys will love, and it’s our go-to for days and nights where we want to just chill and relax.

My youngest is a pro at navigating through Netflix—and oftentimes he’s the one selecting what we’ll be watching, whether it’s a TV series, movie, or documentary. (And we're never disappointed!).

Something cool and new Netflix has come out with is Interactive Storytelling. Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books we read when we were kids? Well, Netflix has come up with a similar concept, allowing children to be in complete creative control of what their characters end up doing—and saying—by giving them the ability to choose from multiple paths for their characters to play out on screen. Isn’t that so neat?

Because of the many different endings and “choice” points, kids are able to watch the same title over and over again without hearing or seeing the same exact story. The kids get to choose their own adventure. They can do this for Puss In Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale, and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile. (And coming up next year, they can look forward to doing this with Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout).

Netflix really did their research here, and the feedback  has been so positive—both from a kids’ perspective, and from parents, too.

Hey—we all need some downtime, even in the summertime. And there is no better way to relax than catching up with your favourite characters on Netflix.

Disclaimer: As part of the Netflix Stream Team, I receive special perks. All views and opinions are my own.

Travel Essentials

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Now that summer is here, many of us are getting ready to go on vacation. I can't wait to hit the beach again in Miami, and just relax, because it's been such a busy few months and I need some time to unwind... and enjoy the sound of the waves with sand between my toes.

I've put together a list of my must-have travel essentials, and showcased them on CTV Ottawa. I think these are the perfect items to pack along with you for your vacation.

Here's what you shouldn't leave home without:

La Roche-Posay sunscreen: La Roche-Posay is a trusted name in skincare worldwide, and their Anthelios sunscreen, both for children and adults, provides incredible protection against the sun's harmful rays. The company has also come out with the My UV Patch, to make it easier for everyone to understand and track the amount of UVA and UVB rays they're being exposed to. Just download the My UV Patch app, apply the ultra-thin sticker to your skin, scan it, and let technology do the rest. Once you create your online profile, your patch will track how much sun you're being exposed to, and will let you know when you should re-apply sunscreen. I love that it lasts on your skin for five days, and it's even safe for those with the most sensitive skin.

COVERGIRL: The new Vitalist Elixir Foundation from COVERGIRL is a dreamy foundation that goes on smooth and gives you great coverage with a built-in SPF 20. I love that this foundation comes in many different shades, for every skin type. And it's totally affordable, too.

COVERGIRL truNAKED Jewels Palette: This is a fabulous eye shadow palette with gorgeous colours to make your eyes pop for summer. With this palette, there is no other eye make-up you need to pack on your trip, because it gives a natural look or a smoky look, depending on what you're looking for.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with SPF 30: When packing is limited, save a step and use this two-in-one moisturizer and sunscreen.

Olay Daily Facial Wipes: These are the perfect wipes to bring on vacation with you, and they're super effective at taking off make-up at the end of the day.

Carry Clean Sonic Toothbrush: This is a great and easy to pack toothbrush perfect for vacation, with 32,000 sonic vibrations per minute.

Conair Mini Pro Straightener: This is a must-have travel essential, and even though it's small and easy to carry, it delivers excellent results. It heats up to 356F, or 180C, and the half inch ceramic duel voltage plates are perfect for on-the-go fixes.

ALDO: I love shopping at Aldo for shoes, bags, and accessories, and this is my go-to store for all my summer needs. Aldo has some adorable beach bags for your summer vacation, and jewellery to go with every outfit you're planning to pack.

Sears Canada: If you're short on time but need to shop for your upcoming vacation, check out Sears. This department store has it all, from swimwear to luggage, to make-up and clothes. The best part? The prices can't be beat.

Gaiam: If you're into yoga and working out every day, then you'll want to pack the Gaiam foldable travel yoga mat in your suitcase, because it takes up less space than the typical yoga mat. Gaiam also sells a great travel bag for your yoga mat, and all your work-out essentials can be bought online to make it easier for you.

Tuck Shop Trading Co.: Looking for a cute and unique bathing suit to pack on vacation? has some adorable pieces made in Canada.

SkinCeuticals: SkinCeuticals is an amazing skin-care company that's sold across Canada in medi-spas, or online. I love these products because they help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, moisturize the skin while protecting it, and give lasting results.

Two must-have-for-summer SkinCeuticals products I recommend is the Photo Corrective Masque, because it provides relief to the skin after being exposed to the sun all day, and it's gentle enough to use daily, and the Physical Matte UV Defence SPF 50, an amazing sunscreen with a little tint, so you can skip the foundation, and use this as a primer when you're applying light make-up for your days on the beach.

Jitter Spinners: So, fidget spinners and jitter spinners are all the rage with kids these days, and my house if full of these toys. But they're also great for adults, too, and totally addictive. They're the perfect toy to play with to pass the time in airports and on long flights, and they're actually a great stress relief, too, especially for people who are nervous to fly.

Clarins: This great skincare company is loved around the world and has products for all skin types. A great beauty essential to pack in your carry-on is the UV 50 Multi-Protection Tint. It's like a foundation with added protection against the harmful effects of UV rays, with a little tint for excellent coverage.  Clarins Lip Oils come in a variety of colours, and give your lips added moisture and shine. I love the hint of colour, too. Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser is a perfect cleanser to use every day.

Caudalie: Caudalie, another skin care company loved worldwide, has plenty of great products to keep your skin feeling and looking amazing, even on vacation. The Vinoperfect Essence provides a healthy glow, post-sun, and gives you a flawless looking complexion; it's also hydrating and soothing. The Vinoperfect Radiance Serum is Caudalie's number one cult favourite and a best-seller around the world; this serum works well at boosting radiance and helps even out your skin tone while moisturizing.

Elizabeth Arden FourEver Bronze Bronzing Powder: A perfect bronzer for summer that also has a highlighter and blush built in. Elizabeth Arden's Dare to Bare shimmering body oil is also perfect for enhancing your summer tan.

If you'd like more information on any of these fabulous products, send me an email. Otherwise, happy travels!

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