Back To School In Style With Sport Chek and Canadian Tire

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Summer is my favourite season–I love hot, sunny vacation days, hours spent around and in the pool, bike rides with my children, BBQ's with friends and family, and outdoor concerts and patio nights. It doesn't get much better than that. Somehow, we're just days away from school starting again, even though it seems like yesterday I was celebrating my children's last day of school. Although I'm a summer girl at heart,  I still love fall, and back-to-school. It's definitely time to get everyone into a regular routine again.

One of my favourite things about back-to-school is the shopping, of course; and even though it's not me heading back to class (I wish it was, sometimes) I still love getting my boys ready. This year, my oldest son is starting middle school–grade 7–and my youngest son, grade 4. 

To make everything go as smooth as possible, and to help alleviate the stress that sometimes comes with the start of a new school year, I partnered with two of my favourite stores: Sport Chek and Canadian Tire, for all our back-to-school needs. From clothes to shoes, to storage containers and furniture, Sport Chek and Canadian Tire truly have it all. 

Sport Chek is my go-to store for all athletic gear and clothes, and my boys received the perfect items to start the school year off right: cool running shoes from Vans and Under Armour, comfortable and stylish pants and shirts from Adidas, and backpacks large enough to hold everything my children need for the year. Some new sweaters from Adidas and jackets from North Face completed their back-to-school package, and now they are so ready to start school looking stylish.


To help get our home organized, we received a new CANVAS Clara Desk and CANVAS Blair Office Chair from Canadian Tire for my youngest son's room. He is so excited to start doing his homework in his room now! (The desk is lovely and large enough for a computer, and the chair is so comfortable I often find myself bringing my laptop to his room to get my work done, too). 



Canadian Tire is the perfect place to stock up on storage containers, as well; for the house, and for the children's lunch boxes. (The Rubbermaid Sandwich Lunch Box Set is perfect for kids and great for adults to bring to work, too!). 

I'm a big fan of shopping at stores that make the experience easy for me and my children, and Canadian Tire and Sport Chek never disappoint; from excellent service to having all the necessary items I need for my children and for my home, it's always a pleasure (and so simple!) to shop these stores, especially for the start of a new school year. 

Thank you so much, Canadian Tire and Sport Chek, for making the transition so easy and fun. Here's a wonderful school year, moms and dads! 


Disclaimer: I received products as compensation for this post from Spork Chek and Canadian Tire. All views and opinions are my own. 
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Find Your Bliss At The Iconic St. Regis Bal Harbour

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When travelling, I take full advantage of being on vacation mode. This means where I stay is as important as where I go. Splurging on accommodations is something to consider when you're travelling to south Florida–especially in Miami–because there are so many fabulous hotels that will make you feel like you're a million miles from home.

Just a short drive from downtown Miami you'll find the exclusive and luxurious village of Bal Harbour, home to the iconic St. Regis hotel—recently named the best hotel in south Florida. There are not many St. Regis hotels in the world (50, to be exact) yet each one offers the same incredible service in a luxurious setting where you can truly unwind and feel a bit like royalty. You'll even receive a glass of champagne upon check-in.

The St. Regis Bal Harbour, recently awarded the coveted Forbes Five-star and AAA Five Diamond award, is an oceanfront haven of elegance, and the place to go for people with impeccable taste for the good life–good food, service, views, and accommodations. Where else can can you find a hotel that has world-class dining, 24-hour butler service, an incredible full-service spa, and two infinity pools overlooking the Atlantic ocean? Even the elevators are luxurious here: instead of pressing a button, simply swipe your key on the computer screen by the elevators and you're told which one to get into.

Although this hotel attracts an affluent crowd from around the world, anyone can stay here. It is the perfect hotel for couples looking for a very romantic getaway, and it's equally perfect for families travelling with children.

Here is why your visit to south Florida should include a stay at St. Regis Bal Harbour:

The Pools: The hotel has two gorgeous infinity pools overlooking the Atlantic ocean; one for families and children, near the beach, and a tranquility pool for adults only–perfect after you've dropped your children off at the St. Regis Children's Club. The service by the pool is amazing. I was offered ice water and sunscreen as soon as I sat down.

You can rent a cabana or an oceanfront day villa, which comes complete with a daybed, bathroom with shower, marble floors, television, a wet bar, fridge, air conditioning, and private loungers and dining table, all with ocean views.


The Remede Spa: The 14, 000 square-foot Remede Spa is stunning (t's so easy to fall in love with the Yabu Pushelberg-designed interior) but the service is what's best.

I recommend indulging in a luxurious one-hour massage. It was one of the best I've ever had and just what I needed to recharge my batteries. You can also enjoy services in the couples treatment room, refresh yourself in the luxury soaking tub for two, and cool off with a private rain shower. There are 11 treatment rooms, a Vichy shower room, saunas, and steam rooms. If you're feeling up to it, check out the St. Regis Athletic Club. (The only exercise I do on vacation is swimming in the ocean and pools).

The rooms: The large oceanfront guest rooms are breathtaking; the entrance, hallway and bathrooms are all marble, and the huge walk-in closet with floor-to-ceiling mirrors will make you want to move in.

My favourite part of these luxurious rooms is the large balcony with ocean views. The couches on the balcony are so comfortable you'll want to fall asleep under the stars, with nothing but the sound of the ocean lulling you to sleep. Pure paradise. Again, it's the service that really stands out; no matter you need, you will receive, whether you forgot a toothbrush or need a crib for your baby.






The dining options: Make sure to spend a few hours in the St. Regis wine vault, enjoying drinks after sunset. It's best to do this after you've enjoyed dinner, though; Atlantikos is the newest restaurant at St. Regis Bal Harbour, and once you step inside you'll instantly feel like you're in Greece, specifically on the island of Santorini. This authentic Greek dining experience with fresh seafood from the Atlantic Ocean and Aegean Sea will take you a delicious culinary journey, thanks to Chef Anastasios Chasekioglou. You can also enjoy the breakfast buffet at Altantikos featuring waffles, crepes, eggs, bacon, yogurt, fresh fruit, baked goods, and much more. We dined outside by the pool area, soaking up the warm Florida sun.

For something more casual but equally delicious, try BH Burger Bar, where you can customize your own burger, gourmet hot dog, or wings. (The Truffle Parmesan Tater Tots are an amazing side dish!).



For desert or an afternoon tea, check out La Gourmandise, an authentic French cuisine experience with delicious pastries you won't regret eating. La Gourmandise offers the largest tea selection in Miami, too.



What to do: With so much to explore in the St. Regis Bal Harbour, you'll never want to leave, but make sure you step outside and cross the street to experience the world-famous open-air Bal Harbour Shops. 

This luxury shopping mall is like no other, with every store you can image: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Cartier, Rolex, Valentino, Fendi... you get the idea.

Shopping and people watching is not all you can do here, though; you can dine at Carpaccio's, (one of my favourite Italian restaurants) and maybe bump elbows with a celebrity or professional athlete, or try The Grill overlooking the parking lot of Lamborghini's and Ferrari's. Le Zoo will whisk you away to Paris with their tasty menu and great service. We celebrated my son's 12th birthday here. For lunch, head to Makoto, a fine Japanese restaurant and one of the country's highest-grossing eateries. Whether you're ordering the sake or edamame, you won't be disappointed.


Once you're finished shopping and dining, check out Unscripted, Bal Harbour Village's art program. They partnered with renowned Miami literature organization O, Miami, on an exhibition called "Post Haste", comprised of four linked poems along Bal Harbour's beach-walk. The exhibit is on view until October 31, 2017.

Thank you, Bal Harbour, and St. Regis, for once again exceeding my expectations. The memories made here will last a lifetime, and I can't wait to come back to experience it all over again.
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