Holiday 2017- Five ideas for family fun in Toronto

 

I love to share the fun and magic of the holiday season with my kids but there are SO many options these days that it can get a bit overwhelming. Here are five wonderful options in Toronto this year that have caught my attention!

 

Black Creek Pioneer Village– On weekends November 18- December 23rd, Black Creek transforms in to an old-fashioned Christmas village. Complete with food, music, tree trimming and wagon rides, this is the perfect tradition to get you in the holiday spirit. In December, meet Santa and feast on a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings (the first three Sundays in December)

Toronto Christmas Market-  I first visited the Christmas Market in its first year and I LOVED it. My parents were in Europe at the time and I was so envious of them getting to see the holiday lights and enjoy the markets in Paris. Over the last several years, the market has become incredibly popular, so much so that there is a charge attend on the weekends ($6 per person after 5PM on Fridays. Children 2 and under are free) It can be insanely busy on the weekends and in the evenings, but if you head out early enough it can be a really enjoyable outing for the whole family. There are market stalls, tons of fun food options, a giant Christmas tree, music and of course SANTA! (November 16 –  December 23, 2017. Closed Mondays)

A Christmas Carol (Soulpepper)     – For many families Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is required movie viewing. To expericec the tradition in person, check out Soulpeppers’ annual stage production. Audiences also enjoy free entrance to the Toronto Christmas Market via the Cherry Street entrance. (Show runs from December 7th-24th. Best for ages 8+)

A Christmas Carol (a Ross Petty Production) – For a more lighthearted musical version of Dickens’ classic, check out this production. Ross Petty’s shows are based on the traditional English pantomime, which means lots of audience participation and inevitably at least one character in drag. I loved going to these as a child and I can’t wait to take my own kids! (Show runs November 24th- December 31st at the Elgin Theatre)

Holiday Bricktacular at LegoLand Discovery Centre (Vaughn Mills) – Legoland is Mecca for my eldest son. What better way to celebrate the holidays (and fill those long days between Christmas and New Years) then with Lego! Write a letter to the Master Model Builders, test your little ones skills creating Lego holiday decor and just have a blast. ( Legoland Discovery Centre is located in Vaughn Mills. Check the website for dates and ticket information)

 

What are your favourite family holiday traditions?????

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True Crime Podcast Round Up- Fall 2017

True crime has always been a fascination of mine and there are several podcasts that I have become addicted to that I wanted to share. These are not the type of podcasts that are gratuitously gory. These podcasts actually want to see crimes solved, people found and status quo’s changed. Check them out!
True Crime Podcast Roundup

 

The Vanished– Super in-depth an sympathetic looks at one missing persons case per week .

The Trail Went Cold – Hosted by Robin Warder, this weekly podcast looks at cases that have gone cold. The host is super enthusiastic and a bit geeky (his obsession with Unsolved Mysteries and Reddit are sort of hilarious)

Already Gone– Hosted by the velvet voiced Nina Innstead, this podcast features missing persons and murder cases, often from the hosts home state of Michigan. Very well researched and thoughtful.

Someone Knows Something– A CBC podcast hosted by David Ridgen currently has two seasons available for download.  The first season investigates the disappearance of 5 year old Adrian McNaughton in Eastern Ontario in 1972. The second season  looks at the 1997 disappearance of Sheryl Sheppard two days after she got engaged on live TV. Totally absorbing.

Missing and Murdered: Who Killed Alberta Williams?– Another CBC podcast, Missing and Murdered is a deep dive into the 1989 murder of young indigenous Alberta Williams in Prince Rupert BC. Host Connie Walker goes down the rabbit hole on this amazing piece of investigative journalism. T There is a new season featuring a new case coming soon and I cannot wait!

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Fall Style- Weekend Warrior

I bought a pair of studded buckle boots recently from ASOS and I love them soo much that i have been working  a casual yet fierce look to highlight them. I wore a variation of this outfit a couple of weekends ago when I was in Ottawa. It was the perfect look for the flight and for walking around the Byward Market!
Weekend Warrior

 

 Tank Top- Frame/Sunglasses- Le Specs/Moto Jacket- River Island/Leggings- Express/Boots- Missguided
On another Ottawa related note, I had one off the BEST meals I have had in ages at Riviera . The space is incredible, a barely touched 1920’s bank and the food and drink menus are top notch. If you live in Ottawa or are traveling there soon, make a reservation!

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October 2017 Beauty Favourites

October 2017 Beauty Favourites

Essie Nail Polish in “Dressed to the nineties“- Essies new collection of 1990’s inspired nail polishes are beautiful (see them all here) but this dark purple with a green sheen is my favourite. It reminds me of a shirt that my BFF had in 1996 that I used to borrow a lot.

Glossier Body Hero Lotion– This moisturizer is SO luxe and thick without being greasy and OMG- the scent is perfection. Light reflecting particles make the skin look dewy and fresh all day.

Kate Sommerville Eradikate– After reading about a million reviews on Sephora, I decided to pick this up to see if it helps my hormonal breakouts. This does not make pimples disappear immediately (nothing can actually do that) but it helps zits shrink in size and reduces redness. It works!

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Sheet Mask– This mask is a cheap and cheerful sheet mask option and there are several versions of it- I like the “super hydrating and soothing” I am really into doing sheet masks every couple of days right now- I find that my skin gets super confused by the change of seasons and gets insanely dry.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara– I was sent this by Influenster in one of their VoxBoxes and I am really liking it so far. It makes my sparse and curly lashes seem much thicker and fluffier! It also doesn’t flake or smudge and it really easy to remove at the end of the day.

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What I read- Summer 2017

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The Girls by Emma Cline– This book would have been my holy grail as a teenager. I was obsessed with true crime (still am) and this novel about a young girl entangled with a Manson Family- like cult before a horrific series of murders are committed is incredible. The writer absolutely NAILED the voice of a 14 year old girl, so much so that it actually made me feel uncomfortable. Teenage girls brains are terrifying. Highly recommend.

Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo– The story of two very different sisters traveling on a doomed ship during the First World War.  This novel is based on the author’s great grandfather’s stories about surviving the sinking of the Lusitania.

The Widow’s House by Carol Goodman–  In order to work on their respective novels,  Clare and her husband move out of the city to serve as caretakers at a historical house in the Hudson Valley. Soon Claire realizes that something strange is happening in the house- the sound of babies crying, a sense of a dark presence, an evil which seems to be focused on her. This writers “northern gothic” novels are some of my favourites but this one didn’t engage me as much as her earlier books.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston– I loved this book. I read almost all of it on a solo 3 hour plane ride. Basically, think Cinderella if she was a cosplay nerd and prince charming was a teen movie heartthrob. Throw in some science fiction homages and you have one of the sweetest and endearing YA novels I have read in a long time.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn– This was recently a pick on the Reece Witherspoon Book Club so I guess its only a matter of time before this becomes a movie. The narrative alternates between the story of a women drafter to be a spy with The Alice Network during World War One in France and a pregnant college girl who runs away to France to look for her cousin who went missing during World War 2. I loved this book and cannot wait for more books by the author.

Fallen by Lauren Kate– Think Twilight but instead of vampires you have.. angels… Ya. I am sure you are asking yourself why I read this. It wasn’t as badly written as the Twilight books, but I suggest you skip it and just see the movie (if you are so inclined) and I NEVER suggest seeing the movie instead of reading the book.

Kiss me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt– The fourth book in a series about the inhabitants of Willoughby close. Sweet cosy read about two people finding love.

What did you read over the summer? I am always looking for recommendations!

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Fall Style 2017- Still all about Velvet

Last Christmas I did a blog post all about the velvet trend and that trend has gone nowhere in the almost year since then. If anything it has gained steam! Velvet Sweatshirts, velvet Gucci!!! ALLL THE VELVET!

 

Fall 2017- All about Velvet

Backpack- Steve Madden /Bag- Gucci/ Blazer- River Island /Pants- Topshop /Boots-Dorothy Perkins/ Sweatshirt- Sonia Rykiel

Thoughts on the velvet trend? I have jumped on the bandwagon with these boots from JustFab.


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September 2017 Beauty Favourites

If you follow my instagram stories (if you are not- follow me here) you may know that I recently changed my hair colour. After about four years as a platinum blond, I decide to go to a darker colour that would be a bit lower maintenance and a little more interesting. September is the perfect time for a change, isn’t it?

New Hair Who Dis

 

With the new, darker hair I have been playing around with more intense makeup, as I look a little washed out without any on on (see above). I have gone back to some older faves and added some new items into the mix!

Here is what I have been loving this month!

 

September Beauty Favourites

 

Nars Blush in Exhibit A– I first posted about this product back in 2013 here and I had been using the product for a long time even before that!  It is a terrifying colour on the palette and a little goes a long way but it looks amazing on. It is the only blush that I have ever used that I come back to time and time again.
Benefit High Beam Liquid Highlighter– I have used so many Benefit products over the years but I don’t think I had ever tried this one before. I love the way that this highlighter looks but I find that it needs a LOT of blending to look natural. If you are willing to take the time, though, you will look dewy AF!
Neutrogena All-in- One Makeup Removing Cleansing Wipes– There is a reason that Neutrogena wipes are a favourite of Kim Kardashian. They take off the heaviest of makeup and are still gentle on the skin. I have tried cheaper and more expensive wipes and these clean the floor with them (pun intended).
Charlotte Tillbury The Dolce Vita Eyeshadow Palette– This brand is a spurge for sure but worth it. This palette is SO stunning. The colours look amazing on and mix and match perfectly. I do feel like I walked out of an Fellini movie when I use this- so glam.
 Decleor Micellar Oil(c/o)- I have been so disappointed by micellar waters that I was so excited when Decleor sent this oil my way. It actually removes makeup and leave your skin SO SO soft. I use it every night as a second cleanse after my makeup removing wipes if I have a lot of makeup on, but otherwise it cleanses amazingly well all on its own.
Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer– My eyebrows can get a little unruly and are not that full so I love this texturizing brow gel. My brows stay sleek and shaped all day.

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Red Carpet Dreaming- TIFF 21017

Its that time of the year again! TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) fever has taken over my city and awards season is starting later this month with the Emmy Awards!

I am so excited to escape the depressing news cycle for a bit (or at least have an alternative to it) by ogling all the amazing red carpet looks.

Here is my dream ensemble for a film opening! I am also including more affordable options for those of us without Jennifer Lawrence’s designer connections !
Outfit Dreaming- TIFF 2017

 

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How to survive a road trip with kids

Every year, we drive our trusty Honda Odyssey minivan to visit family outside of New York city. I look forward to this trip with a mix of excitement and dread. We are going to beautiful place to visit people we adore… but first we have to get there. 9+ hours in the car with three kids. Here are some of my tips for surviving a long road trip. These are not Pinterest style suggestions, these are #realtalk.

1.) ALLLL the tv shows and movies.

When we are at home, especially during the school year, we have very limited TV time during the week. When we travel, all the rules are  thrown out he window when we! Need to stop whining and fighting in the car? TV! Need to keep them quiet at a  restaurant? TV!  It’s not going to destroy their brains and it might just save your sanity.
Target Happy
2.) Bribe

We do a Target run as soon as we hit the border. Each kid gets to pick out
one toy as a treat and bribe to be good in the car. We also tend to pick up some not so good for you snacks there as well. Sugar won’t destroy their brains either  (as long as they brush and floss after all- I am not totally negligent)


Treat time

3.) Naps

This may seem like a no brainer but if you are on the kind of holiday where it is possible to stick to your kids regular nap schedule DO IT! They will be happier and you will have a much-needed and deserved break. If you are like me, your natural instinct is to pack as much sightseeing and fun into a holiday but cut yourself some slack. It’s your holiday as much as the little ones and you don’t want to get home more exhausted then when you left (hope springs eternal)

Storm King

 

4.) Schedule something that you want to do
We did a lot of things that the kids really wanted to do (swimming, eating junk food and visiting farms and zoos) but we also made sure that we fit in something that we really wanted to do as well. This year, we went to Storm King, an incredible art centre featuring massive outdoor sculptures. It was completely child appropriate but it was for the parents really!

 

Burger King

5.) Manage your expectations

No vacation is perfect, in spite of what you see on Instagram. Prepare yourself as much as possible all the while understanding that all your best laid plans will implode at least once. That is what happens when you travel with kids. And that is what wine is for.

 

What are your best tips for road trippin’ or just traveling in general with kids???

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Autumn 2017 Fashion -Red is Best

Earlier in the summer I attended a fall fashion preview and I was surprised to see so many bright red pieces being shown for fall. Typically autumn fashion have leaned toward more subtle colours and shades but this year it is RED EVERYTHING.
Here are some pieces that have caught my eye!

Falll 2017 Fashion- Red Is Best

 

Which is your favourite? I am in love with the Gucci Dionysius bag I included in my round up. It is the first version of the bag that I haven’t felt “meh” about! Too bad it is just a *tad* out of my price range!!!
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