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Showing posts from December, 2015

Giving Back In A BIG Way With Paints And Pints At Big Rig Brew

December was an incredibly busy month with so much going on—from hosting and going to parties, celebrating with family and friends, attending Christmas plays at school, volunteering, decorating, shopping, baking, and wrapping—but it was a wonderful holiday, and many new memories were made. One of the best parts of this holiday season is giving back, and this year, we gave back in a BIG way. After all, it is the season for giving, right? This December, my mom, artist Katerina Mertikas , and Ottawa's fabulous Catherine Landry along with the lovely Nella Zourntos from Big Rig Brewery had a fabulous idea to host a paint night at Big Rig to raise money for the Ottawa Food Bank, specifically, the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard. Tickets to this incredible paint night sold out instantly, and everyone got ready to paint like Katerina, with some guidance, a lot of laughter, and yummy food and beer. We were lucky to have our wonderful Mayor Jim Watson stop by to say a few w

Six Holiday Hacks For A Stress-Free Meal (And A Special At The Delta Ottawa City Centre)

Are you ready? The holidays are here, and ready or not, it's time to celebrate all things festive! Whether you're hosting at home for Christmas, Boxing Day, or New Year's Eve (or really, any day in between, because every day this season is worth celebrating!) make it a stress-free holiday season with these easy holiday hacks. Here are six holiday hacks for a stress-free meal: Prepare, prepare, prepare Plan out what needs to be done and see what you can prepare a few days in advance of your get together so that all you need to do is cook and serve on the big day. Try to do the following the day's leading up to your party: mix all the dry ingredients, set the table, prepare your chutneys and sauces, and organize your fridge because there is nothing worse to do while cooking than scrambling to find things in a messy fridge. Does that turkey come deboned? Debone your turkey before cooking or ask your local butcher to help you out. This turkey hack will ut your coo

Celebrate the New Year in Style In Quebec City

Can you believe the year is coming to an end? 2015 was a great year, but now it's time to look forward to all that 2016 has in store—I'm ready for a new year! What plans do you have to ring in the New Year? With my children off for two weeks to celebrate the holiday season, I'm thinking a trip to  Québec City is a great idea‚ because it's only a short drive from Ottawa, and there is so much to do—especially during the holidays.  From December 27 to 31, Grande   Allée  is joining forces with   Québec City  Tourism to bring tourists some incredible events and festivities to celebrate the New Year right downtown in  Québec City. This celebration will make  Québec City a top destination for anyone looking for something fun and unique to do in the New Year. Outdoor  bars and heated terraces will be set up on  Grande   Allée and you can even enjoy riding a huge ferris wheel while listening to folk music, which will all add to the New Year fun and festivities.  On

#ListToppers 2015 Holiday Toy Hits And Giveaway

Are you still trying to finish your shopping in time for Christmas? Not to worry, because I've got a great giveaway going on right now, where you can win two of Mattel's #ListToppers toys from Barbie and Hot Wheels! As an official Mattel brand ambassador, I love that I'm able to give away two of Mattel's #ListToppers toys to two of my awesome readers this holiday season. Mattel is THE toy authority (since 1945!) and this year they announced their 12 hits of the holiday season with iconic #ListToppers toys like Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Fisher-Price—all toys guaranteed to bring a smile to any child's face this season. I'm giving away: Barbie 2015 Holiday Doll: I am so excited to be giving my five year old niece the 2015 Holiday Barbie! I know she'll love it, and she'll also cherish it forever. (I want one for myself, too!) Barbie is dressed in her best and will no doubt have the most glamorous season of all in her red and silver gown. It's th

2015 Holiday Gift Guide For Everyone

With Christmas weeks away, I'm feeling festive, despite the fact that it's unseasonably warm outside. The holidays are about spending time with family and friends, making memories, giving back, and having fun. (Champagne, anyone?) I love that I can spend the entire month shopping—guilt-free! (Some gifts to give, and some gifts for me... what? A girl needs a new dress and shoes for the parties!) I've put together a gift guide to make shopping stress-free this holiday season. There is something here for everyone on your list! I talked about these great products on Daytime and on CTV Morning Live. .. and here are the details (and link to the segment.)   LOULOU'S 2015 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Beauty, Hair, Skin Care and Fashion Caudalie: Caudalie is a skin care company from France and I have been using their new Resveratrol LIFT collection for over a month. The results? Amazing. This formula help firm skin while stimulating the production of collagen. Caudalie h

In The Kitchen With PAM

It's no secret—I don't love cooking or baking... but my family and I need to eat, so guess what that means? I have to cook and bake. Sigh. Here's something you may not know, though—sometimes, I  enjoy it. Unless things go terribly wrong, like when I burn our food, (ahem, often) or ruin muffins that get stuck in the muffin tin. I run away from recipes that sound too confusing, but I like to challenge myself, too, and I have a handful of recipes I have perfected. When I was asked to put the PAM No Residue spray to the test in the kitchen, I said yes right away because like I said, I'm always up for a challenge! I used PAM and another brand to see which product would work best—and leave no residue—when cooking my scrambled eggs in the morning, and when I baked cupcakes for my boys. Guess what? Hands down, PAM won. We've always been big fans of PAM in this house, and PAM is pretty much the only cooking oil spray I've ever used in the kitchen. It was cool to put

Join Us For A #PCPointer Twitter Party Wednesday Night And Win!

It's December, and holiday preparations are in full swing. Right now, I'm busy getting ready for the festive season and all the holiday parties by shopping for the perfect gifts for my family and friends. I'm also getting excited thinking about all the delicious food we'll be enjoying around the table at Christmas. (I'm being extremely careful right now so I can indulge over the holidays without feeling guilty!) I love this time of year and all the holiday traditions that have come to mean so much to me—decorating the house and the tree with my children while listening to Christmas music, watching our favourite holiday movies (like Elf and Home Alone) and taking walks after dinner to look at all the festive lights in our neighbourhood. December is one of my favourite months, and it's also the busiest shopping month—and even though I love to shop, (a lot!) things can get very expensive if I'm not careful. This year I'm determined to stick to a budge

Travel Tips To Keep You Sane This Holiday Season

With the holiday season in full swing, and Christmas weeks away, everyone has travel on their mind—and whether you're travelling home for the holidays or taking a vacation somewhere tropical and warm, I've got some great travel tips for you. I was on CTV Morning Live today talking about travel tips for the holidays, and I wanted to share them with you here! Travel Tips To Keep You Sane (And Save You Money!) This Holiday Season : My favourite website right now is This is where you'll find all the hottest Canadian deals and offers on everything shopping related, including travel. Deals and offers are emailed directly to you, so you'll never miss a thing. You can also go online every day to check out the latest travel deals. You can get travel coupons for airfare and flight deals, hotel discounts, rental cars, and affordable vacation packages, all in one place. saves you serious money on travel booking sites like We

More Celebrating, Less Laundry With LG (Plus: WIN The New LG Twin Wash!)

Sometimes, it amazes me how much I get done before 9 a.m. Before having kids morning was a pretty standard routine: wake up, get ready for school or work, and get out the door. Now? It's wake up, get ready for the day with one million interruptions, make breakfast for everyone, pack lunches, make sure school bags are ready to go, help the children get dressed, clean the house, do a load or two of laundry, clean the house, prepare dinner, and start working after I drop the children off at school... all while enjoying a cup of not so hot coffee, because it's not until the second cup of the day that I can sit down and exhale. It's a whirlwind for sure, but I'm used to it, and I love it, even though some days can be hectic. It's a given that when you're a mom, you're multitasking every day.  I know I am. A multitasking mom gets more done in a day than is humanly possible, with little to no complaining. (Who has time for that?) It's important to stay or

Surviving The Holidays With P&G

Happy December! We are officially in countdown mode for the holidays, and the craziness of the season has begun. As you're getting ready for the festive season, it's important to keep your house stocked with the must-have essentials: wine (of course) cookies (of course) and... household items that will ensure you have a stress-free holiday! I was on CTV Ottawa Morning Live today, talking about how to get through the holidays without any stress. Here's my segment!  Okay, so what do you need?  Here's my list of holiday essentials from P&G: Bounty:  Bounty is the number one product I use daily. I use almost an entire roll a day in my kitchen, for drying fruit and veggies, wiping down my counters, drying dishes, and so much more.  Cascade with Dawn: This dishwasher soap smells great, and it works really well to help keep dishes sparkling and clean. Just toss one in your dishwasher, and you're ready to go! (No rinsing plate required, even.