Month: April 2014

CND Open Road Collection & Swatches

1-cndThe CND Spring Open Road collection is a set of 6 chic Vinylux shades. To me, these muted shades scream spring! This was my first time wearing Vinylux and it won’t be my last!

Vinylux polishes are designed to last for a week. I am very hard on my nails. I wore these polishes for a week, and the colour did last. Towards the end, the polish at the very tips of my nails would chip off, but it was very gradual. The polish stayed glossy! So how do they work?

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Get outside with Parks Canada this summer!

I am so overjoyed to say that SUMMER IS ALMOST HERE! Have you started thinking abuot all the amazing ways to enjoy the weather? I’ve already booked a cottage and a campsite.

Parks Canada offers unique and amazing campgrounds all over Canada. Don’t have a car? Don’t sweat it! The new Park Bus departs from Toronto and goes up to campgrounds! Check it out here.

Here’s what’s new this summer at Parks Canada’s Ontario Parks.

Bruce Peninsula National Park (ON)

Stay in a yurt!. People who stay in yurts also have access to flush toilet and shower facilities. More info on the park’s yurts is available at: http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/on/bruce/activ/activ2/activ2d.aspx

www.parkscanada.gc.ca/bruce

Fathom Five National Marine Park (ON)

2014 is the 50th anniversary of Parks Canada’s marine archeology department. The park is working on new exhibits for the visitor centre, including a touch screen exhibit that will enable visitors to explore some of the park’s underwater features. A new Fathom Five visitor guide during the 2014 season.

www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fathomfive

Georgian Bay Islands National Park (ON)

The park’s Art in the Park program will start its 3rd season this year. The landscape of Georgian Bay Islands National Park has been a fixture of iconic Canadian art for generations, including the Group of Seven and Emily Carr. With the Art in the Park program, artists are invited into the park to create new works of art, and the public is invited to engage in the process and ask questions at public presentations / Q&A sessions with the various artists. It is a fun way to connect the natural setting of the park with some of Canada’s greatest cultural artefacts while encouraging the continuation of an artistic tradition. www.parkscanada.gc.ca/gbi

 Check out my visit to Georgian Bay Islands!

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Thousand Islands National Park (ON)

Thousand Islands National Park is 110 years old in 2014, and was the first National Park of Canada east of the Rockies. If you camp in an oTENTik at Mallorytown Landing you can also take advantage of some great family activities at the park’s visitor centre.

The park visitor centre offers opportunities for a great day out with the entire family. Fill a picnic basket to enjoy along the shore, or under the historic picnic shelter, built in 1904.  This summer, Salamander Saturday’s will provide an opportunity to get up close and see living examples, both local and exotic, of these fascinating amphibians. The visitor centre will also be presenting special exhibits that include Seeds in Disguise from the Royal Ontario Museum, a monarch butterfly exhibit from the Canadian Museum of Nature, and a collection of photographs of invasive species from the Montreal Biosphere. www.parkscanada.gc.ca/thousandislands

Check out my camping experience in an oTENTik!

Fort Wellington National Historic Site (ON)

Fort Wellington will be offering an exclusive 2 hour experience, where visitors will get the opportunity to enlist in the Royal Artillery, go through basic training, and fire a real 1812 era cannon.

Light the fuse and fire a real 1812 era cannon to earn the respect of your fellow recruits and become a certified artillery person. Stand down and march off the field with your crew knowing you will be proud to share the photographs and stories of the blast you had at Fort Wellington with friends.

The cost is $150 / per person, and each participant must be 18 years or older. This one of a kind experience will launch just on time for Fathers Day (June 15, 2014) and it is the perfect gift for the adventurous parent. For more information or to make a booking, please contact Leslie MacPherson by phone at 613-925-2896 x.104.

Weekends during July and August the fort will escort visitors escorted on a journey back in time with a soldier or his wife who will share exciting tales and tastes of the fort’s past. Explore the fort’s history and features during an engaging 1½ hour tour with a guide in historic costume. The tour concludes with period summer refreshments served within the walls of the fort. Cost: $8.80pp (includes site entry)

Candle Lit Tours – two nights only – July 19 and August 9, at 8pm. Experience Fort Wellington in a different light through a unique candlelit tour with a costumed guide. Admission $8.80 pp

www.parkscanada.gc.ca/wellington

Great stuff, right? Have you ever been to a Parks Canada park?

SpeakEasy 21 brings cocktails & bites to Scotia Plaza

1-Desktop8SpeakEasy 21 has only been open for a short time, but when I arrived early evening to check it out, it was already packed with people. (Mostly suits).

Conveniently located inside the Scotia Plaza, but also has street access. I was able to successfully avoid the rain by using the PATH, which I liked.

Headed by Chef Andrew Wilson (Canoe & Origin North) SpeakEasy 21 brings handcrafted cocktails and contemporary bistro fare to the Financial District.

The sleek space offers up a wide selection of martinis, shaken mason jar cocktails, wine and beer. The menu is extensive, but here are a few drinks I tried that night.

1-IMG_0536Rob Roy (Dewar’s Scotch, Sweet Vermouth, Bitters, Orange Twist)

The Adelaide

1-IMG_0562Baja Sunrise (Cazadores Tequila, Triple Sec, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice)

1-IMG_0543Canadian Cooler (Eristoff Vodka, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Mint Leaves, Cucumber Slices)

The food ranged from modern comfort food with a twist, to more eclectic fare. Think, fried chicken sandwiches and salted pecan brittle. Here’s what I sampled.

1-IMG_0552Bulgogi Tacos ($15) Korean style short rib taco, served on a white corn tortilla, with bibb lettuce, apple kimchi, marinated mushrooms, and sesame seeds.

1-IMG_0557Whitefish Tacos ($15) Battered whitefish filet, with green mango relish, spicy avocado, cilantro and house made queso fresco. This was my second favourite dish. The house made queso fresco was a nice touch. Delicious!

1-IMG_0547Beef Tartare ($15) Ontario AAA dry-aged sirloin, paired with fried capers, ceasar aioli, and prawn chips.

1-IMG_0544Short Rib Croquette: Crisp and filled with tender short rib.

1-IMG_0558Shrimp & Chorizo ($17) Crispy shrimp on a milk bun, with Luis Suarez’s chorizo, iceberg lettuce, cheddar, and a fennel tartar sauce. A bit of an odd combination, and not my favourite.

1-IMG_0555Melon Soup

1-IMG_0549SpeakEasy Club ($18) Served on a toasted ciabatta, and topped with fried chicken, double smoked bacon, guacamole, watercress, and smoked chili aioli. This sandwich was my favorite, and basically has all of my favourite things on it. (Read: Bacon & Guac) The fried chicken was full of flavour and moist.

Short Rib Croquette

SpeakEasy 21 has two levels, gleaming wood finishes, large windows and an open kitchen. In the summer, a massive 3,500-square-foot patio will open.

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One of my favourite features was their phone charging station at the host desk.

1-IMG_0568Exchange your phone for a key, and it’ll be charged up while you eat. (Insert rebounding cries of, how will we Instagram?) It’s a neat idea! (But, really.)

1-IMG_0564Stop by for a drink or snack!

 

SpeakEasy 21 at 21 Adelaide Street West Toronto, ON

Can Your Favourite Beauty Products Stop Working?



I thought I would share this article, because this happens to me all the time!

By Shelley Levitt for The Style Glossy

Can Your Favourite Beauty Products Stop Working?

Every woman has had the experience: A tried-and-true regimen that once left your hair beautiful and shiny and your skin its radiant best suddenly seems to have stopped working. Is it time to move on to a new set of products? Here, advice from the experts.

Should You Change Your Shampoo and Conditioner?
When your once bouncy, gleaming hair starts looking flat and dull, you may wonder if it has “become used to” your favourite shampoo or conditioner. There are two things to keep in mind. No. 1: As hair expert John Gray — author of The World of Hair Colour — says, “High-quality hair products are rigorously tested to ensure that their performance does not deteriorate.” No. 2: Hair is technically dead, so it can’t develop a tolerance to a product.

That doesn’t mean that you’re imagining the changes in your hair. Residue from styling products is one common reason why hair may look and feel drab. To give your hair a clean slate, try a one-time wash with a clarifying shampoo. These shampoos contain ingredients — such as enzymes and citric acids — that bind to product deposits and whisk them away.

Seasonal changes can also make it seem like your shampoo and conditioner aren’t doing their job. In fact, these products are delivering consistent results, but it’s your hair itself that behaves differently in the high humidity of summer than it does during dry winter conditions. While you always want to choose a shampoo and conditioner that’s right for your hair type and texture, if you use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner in the summer, you may find that richer and more hydrating versions of those products work better in winter.

Colouring, highlighting, relaxing and perming all affect the fundamental properties of your hair, says Gray. If you’ve had one of these chemical processes, you may need to add deep-conditioning treatments, including masks, to keep your hair in tip-top shape. Ask your stylist for advice on how frequently to use these at-home treatments.

Do You Need to Swap Your Skin Care Products?
If the feeling that your skin care regimen isn’t working any more is a familiar one, then the fault may lie with your own expectations. “Using skin care products is a lot like dieting,” says aesthetician Tom Woodhouse. “Often, you’ll see a lot of improvement over the first three months, and then when you’ve achieved the maximum benefit from the products, your skin goes into more of a maintenance mode. What you’re missing is the excitement or novelty of those early results.”

Then again, our skin is dynamic, changing in some way almost every day, says Ellen Marmur, dermatologist and author of Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin. Rather than thinking of yourself as having one static skin type, Marmur says it’s more effective to learn to read your skin and be flexible in the types of products you use. While you may have a general tendency toward dry skin or oily skin, irritation or acne, it’s important to adjust your regimen to the type of skin you’re having today. If, for example, your skin is looking greasy and starting to break out, you may want to switch temporarily to a cleanser that contains salicylic acid, which will help unclog pores.

The active ingredients that keep our skin looking its best, like peptides or retinol, work year-round. But just as cotton feels cool against your skin in July and cashmere is cozy in December, different formulations feel — and look — better as the weather changes. Consider rotating your regimen to include oil-free or gel-based products in summer and richer creams and lotions in the winter.

Canada’s Most Innovative New Products for 2014

1-IMG_0647 Last week, 39 new products were awarded the Product of the Year Canada™ seal of approval. I had no idea that this existed!

These products range from pet food to beverages to cosmetics. Everything!

“According to our research, innovation is an important factor for Canadians in choosing products,” said Jennifer Litterick, Group Publisher, Marketing and Retail Group, Rogers Media. “This year’s winners are not only innovative, they are convenient and easy to use. Consumers are faced with so many choices when they shop, and the Product of the Year seal helps them make decisions and leads them to quality products they can trust.”

See for yourself! Check out all of the winners here.  Below are my personal favourites!

Vaseline-Spray-&-Go: Get moisturized in a flash! This spray goes on in seconds and dries quickly.

Head to Tail: These pet friendly vitamins are an easy way to keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

Longo’s Chicken Pad Thai Stir Fry: A pre-packaged meal for busy lifestyles! The kit comes with chicken, veggies, and of course, Pad Thai sauce.

1-IMG_0649Blue Piston Wireless Speaker: I just love this! It was my favourite product. It’s really durable, has a great build and sound quality packed into one small shape. It’s coming camping with me this year!

Do you own any of the 39 innovative products?

 

Essie Introduces Gel Polishes

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Excellent news for Essie lovers! As of now, you can find your favourite Essie shades in gel polish at your favourite salon.
Essie’s gel system was designed to respect natural nail health with essential nutrients.They worked hard to create a gel polish that wouldn’t be harsh and damage nails upon removal.

Check out all 36 shades available below!

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