Terra Lumina brightens the winter night

Terra Lumina is a light installation in the perfect place, at the perfect time of year. There’s no better escape from the darkness of winter than to be surrounded by dazzling lights and beautiful projections. I was invited to the opening by the Toronto Zoo, and had so much fun exploring the space. One of my favourite art installations last year was Lumina Borealis in Kingston. I’m so excited that Toronto now has it’s own!

Terra Lumina is inspired by how nature and humans can coexist in the future. You start your journey on a winding 1.5 km walking path through the Zoo that travels into the future and back. You step through a luminous portal that transports you to the year 2099.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t get too detailed. Here are a few of my favourite moments of the experience.

There are beautiful life-like projections.

 There are eye catching lasers and atmospheric music as you walk through a forest.

There’s an interactive drum installation where the sound of your beating drum is replicated by a field of lights.

There’s a voice that guides you as you read positive messages about the future.

There’s a light tunnel that you can walk through that leads you back to the past.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. It’s the perfect thing to do in the winter when the daylight hours seem the be shorter and shorter.

If you go:

  • Bundle up! The entire experience takes place outdoors, and there isn’t really a spot to warm up.
  • There are food trucks on-site so that you can grab a bite to eat or a warm drink
  • Terra Lumina is at the Toronto Zoo until April 13th.
  • Tickets $29 for adults and $25 for kids. Parking is $8.

10 Favourite Stocking Stuffers

1. L’Occitane Holiday Hand Creme Trio: Hands are buttery soft and smooth thanks to this trio of hand cremes.

2. David’s Tea cozy sweater tea press : Keep your tea hot, fresh, and looking cozy with this tea press.

3. fresh Sugar and Spice Gift Set: This lip kit packs a punch with moisturizing lip gloss in a brand new shade.

4. David’s Tea crackers: This is the perfect fun gift for any tea lover on your list.

5. Sweet Cherry Blossom Ornament : This festive ball is filled with cherry blossom lotion, hand cream and shower gel.

6. Laderach FrischSchoggi chocolate: This fresh chocolate comes in a whopping 25 flavours. These are a selection of favourites.

7. NEST holiday candle: Capture the scent of the holidays with this yummy smelling candle that’s a mix of pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, cloves, and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla and amber.

8. Not Sorry Socks  You won’t be sorry placing these delightful socks in someone’s stocking!

9. Bath & Bodyworks Into the Night Bath Gel:This pretty bottle contains a blend of dark berries, midnight jasmine & amber

10. Canadian Maple Syrup Can Socks: What’s more Canadian than these cute maple syrup socks?

 

 

Getting festive with Canadian Tire

[Review] Hands on with the Pixel 4

I’ve been a proud card carrying member of Team Android for several years now. I’ve always wanted to try out a Google Pixel because of the amazing camera. I finally got my hands on a Pixel 4, and I’ve been using it as my daily phone for a month. Here’s what I think! Please note that while this phone was provided to me from Google, my thoughts and opinions remain my own.

What’s inside?

  • 128 GB of storage
  • 2800 mAh batterry
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • Snapdragon 855 processor
  • Dual cameras
  • 5.7″ inch screen
  • AMOLED QHD+ 90 Hz display
  • Gorilla Glass 5
  • Smooth Display (up to 90 Hz)
  • See the full specs here
  • $1,129 ($999 for 64 GB)

Look and feel

The new Pixel 4 comes in Just Black, Clearly White and Oh So Orange. I have the orange version, a matte tangerine colour with black matte edges. The phone itself feels good in the hand, and has a nice weight to it. At 5.7, the screen is a little on the smaller size.

New features

Motion Sense is a new feature and uses radar to sense motion. You can do a few actions while your hands are busy (exercising or eating) without touching your phone. You can using a swiping motion to skip music, or you can use it to snooze your alarm or silence your phone. I love using it to snooze my alarm.

Another less practical (but fun!) use is the Pixel only Pokemon Sidekick Wallpaper. Using the same Motion Sense technology, you can get a live background featuring Pikachu, Evee and a few other Pokemon. You can wave to them and pet them, all using hand motions. It’s very cute. At night they curl up and fall asleep!

Face Unlock

The Pixel 4 doesn’t have a fingerprint reader. Instead, it opts for a secure Face unlock using a custom Titan M5 security chip. The Face unlock is blazing fast, and can even be opened if your eyes are closed, or if you aren’t paying attention. I like this feature, but this could open up some security risks. Google is working on an option where you would have to be paying attention to unlock you phone. Face unlock date is encrypted end-to-end. Right now, uses are limited, but eventually you will be able to use this in place of a fingerprint reader for payments.

Recorder

I love, love, love the new Recorder feature. It’s hands down my favourite feature, and the most useful as a writer. You can record live audio, and the app transcribes everything into searchable text. It’s quite accurate, very fast and is impressive. This is rolling out to other Android devices, and I’m so glad that it is!


Camera

The Pixel 4 is the first Pixel to feature a dual camera. On the front, you’ll find a 8 MP camera. On the rear, dual lenses include a 12MP 2x telephoto lens and a 16MP lens. I’ve been using the camera for all sorts of things, and overall I’m impressed!

Here are some examples of portrait mode:

Here are some photos using Night Sight.

Looks pretty good, right? I’m excited to take this phone on vacation. There’s an amazing Astrophotography mode that I haven’t had the chance to try yet. When used correctly, you can capture the stars. I want to use that next time I go camping.

Battery life

The Pixel 4 has a 2800 mAh battery, and charges up using a USB C. The battery life is average. I can usually get through a full day from 8am to 10pm off one charge. It has died on me a couple of times in the evening on heavy use. The phone has fast charging which is helpful for topping up.

Accessories

The Pixel 4 has a custom Google case ($50), available in 4 shades. It has a unique soft knit weaved fabric texture that’s lined inside with microfibre. In the case, you can squeeze the phone to activate Active Edge and turn on Google Assistant. You can also wash the case if it’s dirty, and it fits with Pixel 4 like a glove.

Pros

  • Pure Android without any bloatware
  • Excellent camera
  • Guaranteed Google software updates for 3 years

Cons

  • No headphone jack.
  • Doesn’t have expandable memory
  • No fingerprint reader

Overall, this is a solid phone with a fantastic camera, good software and some unique features. I think it’ll only get better with the updates that Google will be pushing quarterly. I’m excited to see what’s in store!

DAVIDsTEA’s holiday collection is here!

The DavidsTea holiday collection is finally here! This year, the collection has a fun Nordic Christmas sweater vibe.

There are a few new toasty teas for you to sip, here are my favourites:

Gingerbread Blondie is a caffeine-free herbal tea has notes of ginger and warming spice with little gingerbread men and star-shaped sprinkles.

Glitter Chai combines two of my favourite things This tea features black tea, gold caramel pieces and spices of ginger, cinnamon and clove.

Satsuma spice cake Is a low caffeine black tea with sweet caramel and zesty Satsuma orange. (more…)

Protect your skin this winter with Olay

Fall brings beautiful changing leaves, but also chilly temperatures and harsh environments for your skin. Olay‘s new collection helps to cushion the blow to sensitive skin.

First, there’s their new gel mask collection. I love gel products, because I feel like my skin absorbs them much easier. Olay’s Hydrating Overnight Gel Mask with Vitamin E infuses skin with nourishing moisture while you snooze. The combination is pleasantly light, and my skin felt soft and moist when I woke up after using the mask overnight. The hydrating mask is my favourite, but the overnight gel mask also comes in two other formulas, firming and brightening.

Next, there’s the new Olay Sensitive collection, formulated to calm stressed, dry skin and help fortify skin’s surface over time.

Over 72% of Canadian women report having sensitive skin. This collection doesn’t include soap, dyes or harsh surfactants. The ingredients used have been proven to fight redness and irritation. The best part? It provides immediate relief and helps protect against future flare ups.

When I get home after a long night, the last thing that I want to worry about is irritating my skin with makeup remover. I’ve been loving the Olay Sensitive Makeup Remover Wipes. They work really well, and remove my makeup in a few swipes. The wipes have micellar cleansing molecules to trap dirt and oil inside and remove it, so you don’t need to rinse with water.

After, I finish up with the Calming Liquid Cleanser. This product uses lamellar cleansing molecules which glide across skin to lift away dirt and impurities without disrupting skin’s natural structure. Both products are inspired by Hungarian Water Essence,and is infused with essences of aloe, cucumber and tea extracts.

Which product would you want to try?

 

 

 

 

 

Hunting for dragons at Casa Loma’s newest escape game: the Dragon’s Song

There’s nothing quite like hunting for dragons in a Gothic castle. I was invited to play the newest escape room from Secret City Adventures. Casa Loma Escapes executes my favourite escape room in the city. You can’t beat the location, and the story is always epic and fitting for a castle. The Dragon’s Song is their newest adventure. It brings together elements of fantasy, puzzle solving, teamwork and technology into one hands-on action packed game. (more…)

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