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Showing posts from September, 2014

The Game Of Life (CAA Edition)

Becoming a parent was a game-changer for me. I had no idea, really, that welcoming a new baby into our lives was going to be such a life- altering experience. Now with two boys in school full-time, things haven't necessarily slowed down, but our routines are a little easier to manage, and my boys are at such a wonderful age—nine, and six years old—and it's been a pleasure seeing them grow into the people they are becoming every day. Some days, it feels like our life could be a reality show, because I truly believe the things that happen to us would make for some great quality entertainment on TV. Some days, it feels like we're players in the game  of life, being challenged constantly in different ways. Every day we are faced with challenges, every day we try hard to reach our goals and, sometimes, we're rewarded with success. It could be achieving something small, like cooking a great dinner without burning down the house, or it could be something

Gala Night (For A Cause) At Nordstrom

You all know that I love to shop and you all probably  know that my favourite store is Nordstrom —it's my number one place to shop when I'm in south Florida—so when I found out Nordstrom was opening up in Ottawa it was pretty much the greatest news I'd ever heard. (I tend to exaggerate just a little bit, but still—I'm ridiculously excited to see this department store open in my city, finally!) Today I'm excited to announce that Nordstrom will be having a Grand Opening Gala in a few months—on March 4th , to be exact—and it's going to be THE most amazing event of the year, too. A gala night to celebrate the opening of Ottawa's Nordstrom in Rideau Centre sounds like an amazing idea to me. (As soon as you can buy your tickets—they go on sale in November—I'll post the link here for you to do so!) I was speaking to my friends at Nordstrom today and I'm happy to say that I'll be working with them on spreading the word and getting everyone excited ab

Boston Pizza Kids Card Campaign: Helping All Children Reach Their Potential

September went by in the blink of an eye and now we're settled into a routine with school, work, extra-curricular activities, play dates, volunteering and more. As busy as our lives are, we always try to eat dinner together as a family—either at home, or at my parents or in-laws' homes. Coming from Greek families, we're thankful that we're always well-fed with good home-cooked meals. (I'm especially thankful for the help we get because I don't love to cook and I like avoiding kitchen disasters!) We like to take the kids out for dinner, too, because it's a nice treat. We take our boys everywhere—no restaurant is off-limits, and we like to mix things up. However, we do love eating at Boston Pizza because it's close to home, the food is good, and it's a great place to bring the kids. I also love how much Boston Pizza does to give back to the community and schools. Boston Pizza has, for as long as I can remember, partnered with area schools (including

All About Shoes (And My CTV Segment about!)

I love being a Shoe Style Brand Ambassador for . Today I talked about the latest looks and trends in shoes and boots  for fall, from on CTV Ottawa Morning Live.  We talked about how easy and fun it was to shop online for shoes, too. Even though it was hard putting our summer shoes away, there are so many great options for fall and winter—like gorgeous boots by Frye, Sam Edelman, Nine West, Ecco, and more, all from I love the convenience of ordering online because of the great selection and because it's always free shipping and free returns. So even if you're not 100% sure of your purchase, you can easily return what you've bought with no hassle. Isn't that a great way to shop? You can see the entire segment  here. I love all the boots featured in today's segment, especially the black Sam Edelman booties, but these beauties by Hush Puppies might just be my favourite of all! They're stylish, and super comfortab

What To Wear To BlissDom Canada

With the BlissDom Canada conference just around the corner, I've started thinking about what to wear. You know, because I need another excuse to head to the mall! In all seriousness, I'm not going shopping before BlissDom. I know, shocker , right? I have (as I'm sure you do, too) so much of everything already—so now it's time to shop my closet and come up with outfits I'll love wearing while I'm networking, hanging out with friends, learning, and having a great time at BlissDom. I just did a closet re-organization, and I've (sadly) said goodbye to my beloved summer dresses and shoes. No more cute little white dresses with wedge heels; but hello , favourite black dress, tights, and sexy ankle booties! When it comes to dressing for a conference, I like to keep things business-casual. You'll find me in black pants from Express, a cute jacket, and booties. You'll find me in skinny jeans, a fitting sweater, and my favourite heels. I'll also

What's On Your Bucket List?

What's on your bucket list? I know for certain things that'll never make an appearance on my bucket list: skydiving, bungee jumping, and camping in a tent, in the wilderness. As much as I love the great outdoors—and all that comes with it—I know the great outdoors can be enjoyed just as much if I can retreat to luxurious accommodations after I've had some fun outside. With room service, of course. I tend to make yearly bucket lists, rather than making a bucket list of things I want to do before I die. I guess it's easier for me to stick to things I want to check off my list year to year. Maybe your bucket list includes attending your first blogging conference, or getting on a plane, or finally getting in shape. Maybe your bucket list includes watching a sunset in Hawaii, learning how to fly a plane, or getting over your fear of spiders. Everyone has a different bucket list and the items on your personal list don't have to be extraordinary. They can be things t

Kick Distracted Driving To The Curb

Have you been guilty of texting while driving? I have. And I've been caught, too. I recently made the promise to help end distracted driving this year. And you can, do. The more people that make the pledge, the better it'll be for all of us on the road, especially now that children are back in school. The annual CAA Distracted Driving campaign is back for another year, and I'm hoping this is the year everyone makes the promise to do their part to be more responsible and aware behind the wheel. There are no excuses, you guys. I'm guilty of driving with my iPhone in my lap, and twice over the last few years, I've been stopped by the police and given tickets. $300.00 in tickets, to be exact. The worst part wasn't he waste of money I had to pay because of my thoughtlessness behind the wheel; the worst part was being stopped for such an irresponsible reason—and one time, my children were in the car with me, and the police officer made me feel so bad about wha

The Value Of A Dollar (And The Importance Of An RESP)

Money doesn't grow on trees! It's a phrase I often tell my kids (and myself) as a reminder to not spend as much as we do, and to try to teach my children the importance of saving, and not spending. Teaching children the importance of saving money and the value of a dollar are lessons that are best learned from an early age. I have a bad habit of shopping without a budget, and that's not a good thing. I'm a spender, and a shopaholic—it's one of the things I do best, which is sadly, not the most amazing quality to have. Since I've become a mom, though, I've learned that saving money isn't as painful as I once thought, especially because I'm saving for my children and their education. Starting an RESP is not that painful or difficult. I started working part-time when I was 15 years old, and although I saved some of what I made, I'm very fortunate that my family paid for me to go to university—without their help, I wouldn't have been able

From Blog To Business

I've been passionately blogging since 2007. I started this blog as a way to stay connected with my friends and family, never dreaming that this blog would one day turn into something more. Over the years, I've had so many incredible opportunities because of this little blog that I'm incredibly thankful for.  I've attended a few blog conferences, including BlogHer three times (in NYC, San Diego, and NYC again) and  Mom 2.0 in Miami , and I've been to  BlissDom Canada three times: in 2010, 2011 , and 2012 , which was my favourite one yet. The thing I love most about going to these conferences is connecting with and seeing my friends again—sure, we're there to learn, network, and have a good time, but nothing beats the connection and joy of seeing the people you only get the chance to see once a year. I was thrilled to be a Community Leader at BlissDom Canada in 2012 , and I'm happy to be back again this year as a Community Leader! There is always

The Best Of The Body Shop

I could spend countless hours at the make-up counter in any department store, and I love walking into The Body Shop no matter where I am in the world—from Athens to Ottawa, it's always a treat to stock up on my favourite items knowing that I'll love what I'm buying. For a flawless face, perfect nails, and soft, smooth skin, The Body Shop does it right, year after year. I love receiving packages from my friends at The Body Shop, and today I opened my mail to find some nail polish from The Body Shop's new Color Crush Nails collection. I received three pretty in pink colours (in Cupid Pink, Oh, Petal, and Rosy Cheeks ) and you can find all 24 shades in stores soon. I also received the new Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate . (Along with a gift card to Starbucks? The Body Shop know me so well!) Here is some information about my favourite Body Shop products: Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate:   "See life through younger-looking eyes." Sounds good to me! I re

These Boots Are Made For Walking

Are we over summer yet? I'm not. In fact, I was wearing my flip flops just last night on my walk to the park with my boys. I just can't yet give up on my favourite season, you guys. But something is shifting... I'm seeing myself drawn to the boots section in the shoe stores now. I'm dreaming up outfits that include tights and ankle booties. I guess that somewhere inside me, I'm ready to embrace all the wonderful things that come with fall: cute sweaters, skinny jeans, and new sexy boots. Are you ready to put your best foot forward? Here are my picks for the best new boots for fall:  These Hush Puppies are sexy, sleek, and comfortable. You can never go wrong with a pair of shoes or boots from Hush Puppies, and as a Brand Ambassador for , I received these in the mail and I'm in love. Truly... they're the perfect (and quite affordable, at only $150) addition to your fall wardrobe.  I love Sam Edelman —from flats to boots, y

Treat Yourself At WaySpa

I think it's incredibly important to take time for yourself as often as possible. We all lead busy lives, and now that the children are back in school and we've fallen into a regular routine again, it's time to book that appointment to the spa you've been putting off for too long. It's time to give yourself a pat on the back for surviving summer (as amazing as it was!) and it's time to treat yourself to a massage or facial... or anything you fancy, really. I'm absolutely thrilled to be working with WaySpa as a  Brand Ambassador.   For those of you who are not yet familiar with WaySpa, let me introduce you to your new best friend: WaySpa is a one-stop online spa marketplace for everyone. Whether you're looking to book a massage or man-pedi in your city, or a city you're travelling to , WaySpa has you covered. WaySpa helps you easily find the best treatments (facials, massages, hair styling, and so much more) conveniently online—from spas in

Claudine: A Book Review

There is something so amazing about sitting down with a new book, and I'm very thankful that I've been given the chance to review books for Penguin Canada . I've been with a book in my hands since I was 12 years old, and that's one thing that's never changed about me—my love for reading and discovering new books to love. I was asked to review the new erotic thriller, Claudine, written by Barbara Palmer. At first I was apprehensive about reviewing another erotic book, because I was very unimpressed with Fifty Shades Of Grey. I found that book dull, uninteresting, and not sexy at all—never mind all the grammar mistakes that kept me cringing. Also, yawn. Claudine falls under the erotic fiction category, but it's also a thriller—so not only will you instantly get lost in the erotic and sexy words and scenes of the book, you'll also be left on the edge of your seat the entire time. Claudine is not your typical erotic romance; it was written by a bests

Ten Things I Love (On My Birthday)

Every year on my birthday , I like to reflect on the things I love. Since today I turn 38 years old (but still feeling very much like I'm in my 20's, thank you very much!) I'm sharing with you ten things I love. 1. My family.  My boys, my husband, my parents, sister, grandparents, and in-laws... I'm thankful I'm surrounded by so many awesome and loving people. We're a fun, crazy, loud bunch. 2. Amazing lifelong, since childhood, friendships. I cherish my girlfriends a lot. 3.  Vacations and travel.... so necessary in my life! 4. Blogging , and the amazing opportunities that come from it, year after year. Like being one of the six celebrities in the 2013 Dancing With The Stars for Easter Seals competition—going outside of my comfort zone is something I don't often shy away from! It still blows my mind, how incredible this community is, and how if you really work hard and follow your passion, good things happen .