Tuesday, September 30, 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 huge—like getting that job that you think you're perfect for. Whatever it is, we are always and forever striving toward something, individually, or a as a family unit. Sometimes, just getting the kids out of the house in the morning can be a huge challenge, and that's okay.

Sometimes we're thrown a curve ball, (ah, life!) and we have to learn to just laugh and go along with the changes. Last year, before we boarded our flight to south Florida, I accidentally forget there was an apple in my carry-on bag. Of course, I had already checked off "no fruit" on my security form, so we were held back as they questioned me. We ended up missing our flight, even though we were running through the airport like that scene from Home Alone. Even though we missed our flight, we managed to get on another flight a few hours later. During the time we were waiting, we played some games, talked, and ate dinner together. It's all about not letting the little things slow you down. It's all about overcoming those obstacles—the minor ones, like a missed flight—and the bigger ones we're faced with. You never know what your day will bring, so I just take things in stride... and enjoy the ride, while mentally playing your own game of life.

THE GAME OF LIFE - CAA Edition is back again this year for the 4th time, and this time, it's better than ever. 




I'm so glad that I'm a GAME OF LIFE Ambassador with CAA, because I love spreading the word about fun contests that everyone can get involved in. THE GAME OF LIFE - CAA Edition runs from September 29th until November 23rd, and the best part is Members and non-members can play for the chance to win a prize.
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There are over $35,000 in instant prizes being given away, and all you have to do to win is... play! Up for grabs? Petro-Canada Gift Cards, Payless ShoeSource Gift Cards, Kernels Popcorn Gift Cards, Best Western Travel Cards, Sephora Gift Cards, gift cards to The Body Shop, and Starwood Pre-Paid MasterCards. Oh, and this is just a sample of the great prizes to be won!

You can play online every day, and it'll take you less time to play than updating your status on Facebook. Not only can you enter to win prizes every day, you can even earn bonus entries when you share your game activities on your social media sites. How fun is that?

I'm really loving the grand prize, though... the winner will get to decide between these three fabulous vacation destinations:

1. Florida Family Fun: An 8 day trip for 4 to Orlando theme parks.

2. Northern European Cruise: A 7 night Norwegian escape for 2 people with Holland America Line.

3. Signature Argentina: A 2 person, 13 day tour of the best of Argentina.

All three trips sounds amazing, but if I were to win, I'd probably pick the Florida trip because I love vacations that include my children. And this time, I'd leave the fruit out of my carry-on bag!



CAA is the most trusted name in roadside assistance, and it's a comfort knowing help is always just a phone call away. CAA Members have access to not only roadside assistance, but life, home, and auto insurance; travel packages and insurance, and exclusive access to savings and rewards at over 164,000 retail locations and services around the world.

As a mom, I'm proud to partner with CAA and I'm so excited for THEGAME OF LIFE – CAA Edition. With prizes this great, it's worth everyone's time to play!



This post was generously sponsored by CAA South Central Ontario. 

Contest open to CAA Members and non-members. Complete rules and regulations are available at www.caagol.com. 

HASBRO and its logo and THE GAME OF LIFE are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. ©2014 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

®CAA and CAA logo trademarks owned by, and use is granted by, the Canadian Automobile Association.

Monday, September 29, 2014

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 about this incredible night in Ottawa. I've also been invited to attend the event as well as to cover it for various media outlets, as well as here on my blog.

The very best part, though, isn't the fact that you'll be at this glamorous gala being treated to hors d'oeuvres, dinner, dessert, cocktails, live entertainment, a spring fashion presentation and being one the lucky first to shop the new 157,000 square foot store—the best news is that ticket sales (tickets are $100 each) benefit the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and United Way Ottawa.

That's 100% of ticket sales going to these amazing organizations. Talk about guilt-free shopping!

"As a company, it has always been a priority for us to give back to the communities that we serve before we open our doors. We are truly impressed by the reach and impact of these organizations in Ottawa and beyond,a nd we couldn't be more proud to support them through our opening gala," says Nordstrom Rideau Centre store manager John Banks.

I'm thrilled and already excited about this gala, and I know Nordstrom will be very loved in Ottawa. I can't wait to see our city support and attend this great night for a most worthwhile cause. The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and United Way Ottawa are two great organizations to give back to and support.

Stay tuned for more information... soon!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

All About Shoes (And My CTV Segment about ShoeMe.ca!)

I love being a Shoe Style Brand Ambassador for ShoeMe.ca. Today I talked about the latest looks and trends in shoes and boots for fall, from ShoeMe.ca 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 ShoeMe.ca. 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 comfortable, so I can literally wear them all day long. They're the perfect addition to my fall wardrobe, and they go with almost everything, too.


ShoeMe.ca has over 300 brands online for you to choose from, and thousands of styles. I'm warning you—once you start shopping around, you're going to get lost in a world of gorgeous shoes for very occasion. ShoeMe.ca also carries a huge selection of shoes for children and men, too, and there are always amazing deals going on online.



Happy shoe shopping, friends!


This post has been sponsored by ShoeMe.ca.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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 be in dresses, paired with tights, because I'm finally accepting fall into my life, and I don't want to freeze.

Dress in clothes you love—in clothes you feel comfortable in—and know that as long as you feel great, you'll look great. I promise. No one is judging, either. Get some inspiration from the pages of your favourite magazines and add your own personal touch.


As for shoes? I live in heels, but I'll be packing my flats in my purse, just in case... when you're standing and walking for hours every day, your feet can get sore. (If you know you'll be mostly sitting down, feel free to wear your "sitting only" stiletto's!)

There is a salon and spa in the conference hotel, too, so if you need a quick hair touch-up, you don't have to go far. I'm already booked for a blow-dry on Friday. (Maybe even a massage? I could go for a massage...)

I've said it before: the best accessories to bring to any conference or networking event is your smile and your confidence. Throw some business cards in your favourite purse and you're good to go. 

Pull what you own from your closet, and make your style work for you! I love to stick to the basics—black pants, jeans, sweaters, boots, heels—in black, navy blue, and a pop of colour. I also love grey for fall, or wearing all black with some colour.


Whatever you do, whatever you wear—be comfortable, have fun, and be you.


See you at BlissDom!

Monday, September 22, 2014

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 that are easy to achieve, things that might take years to achieve, or goals you're working towards achieving.

A while back, I sent out a tweet saying:

On my bucket list—to interview the @wealthy_barber!

Minutes later, I received a message from Canada's best-selling author, David Chilton. (If you've read either of his books, The Wealthy Barber, or The Wealthy Barber Returns, you'll understand why I wanted to interview him—he's very funny, and he doesn't bore me to tears when he talks about making smart financial decisions!) I met David a few years ago at an event, and heard him speak to a crowded room—I knew how funny he was before I read his books, and I really wanted to get to know him better, and to interview him.

Anyway, a few weeks later I was interviewing the Wealthy Barber—who is now on Canada's Dragons' Den—in the Library Club of The Royal York Hotel, in Toronto, and I published a great interview with him in Ottawa Magazine.


Some things on your bucket list will get checked off quicker than others, depending on what it is you want to do. I believe that if you want to do something enough—if you're really passionate about something—then  achieving the goal isn't going to be impossible.

Going to Greece with my entire family and children was on my bucket list last year, (arranging a trip with 10 family members, including small children, wasn't that easy!) and I'm happy to report that's been checked off my list.

This year, my bucket list includes:

Write a a book for mothers and children—and publish it.
Travel more.
Worry less. (Can that be a thing?)
Eat healthier.
Exercise more often—stick to that routine.
Continue blogging and doing what I love.
Spend less money. (That's going to hurt.)
Shop less. (Ouch.)
Write more.
Learn how to say no, and get over FOMO.
Spend more time with my children doing the things we love.
Give back to the community.
Go to more concerts.
Finally attend Bluesfest.

Nothing too wild, nothing too crazy, right?

What's on your bucket list—and what are you doing to make it happen?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Express Giveaway!

I had such a great time co-hosting Daytime Ottawa today with Derick Fage. It's always fun co-hosting with Derick, and today's show was packed with so much awesome: we interviewed dancer and choreographer Blake McGrath, who works on Dancing With The Stars and has danced with, taught, and toured with Britney Spears, Madonna, Janet Jackson and J.Lo. Pretty impressive, right? He's in town for VIP Dance Events which is a great event benefiting the Children's Wish Foundation. Too bad he didn't teach Derick and I some of his moves!

We also made some delicious and healthy chocolate balls, listened to some opera, watched a sword fight, and talked theatre.


The one hour show is always so much fun—and goes by so quickly! One hour feels more like 15 minutes.


I did a fashion segment on the latest looks for fall from Express, and I'm so thankful that they outfitted me for Daytime. I loved my lace top, black pants, and leopard print booties. I love everything from Express, really—from accessories and jewelry to the clothes and boots. The best part? Shopping at Express is affordable, and they have everything you need in one store—from casual looks to sexy dresses for more special occasions.

Thanks to Express, I'm giving away a $50 gift card for one lucky viewer or reader... so you can go shop at Express, too, and see all the great stuff they have in store right now.


To enter to win the $50 Express gift card, just leave me a comment below telling me what you love the most about fall!

I'll pick a winner randomly on September 27th.

Good Luck, friends!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

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 what I had done.

I know better.

I have two young children. I've seen what can happen when people aren't paying attention when they're driving, and many times, even if you're an excellent driver with an excellent track record, it's the other car that is doing something stupid, like texting and driving. Imagine if you were completely aware of all that was going on around you? You'd be a much safer driver.

Here are some important things to remember as you're making the promise to end distracted driving: 

1. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents and it's also totally avoidable.
2. Anything that makes you look away from the road is a distraction and can be life-altering; not only texting, but looking behind you as you talk to your children, searching for something in your purse, trying to find the perfect song to listen to—it's all those things that we do on a daily basis that we need to stop.
3. Driving requires your full attention.
4. CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) and other traffic safety partners have come together to launch an education and awareness campaign, urging you to make a promise. It's so simple, and it might be the push you need to stop yourself from doing the dangerous things we sometimes don't even think about. I know it's helping me focus more on keeping my eyes on the road.

The promise I made is helping me be a better driver—for myself, for my children, and for those around me. I hope you'll do the same and make the promise. It's simple, it works, and we can totally kick distracted driving to the curb if we work together.

No more texting and driving—no matter what! Let's all do our part to keep the roads safe for our children. It's up to us to make the change.

Disclaimer: I am working with CAA on getting the message out about the CAA Distracted Driving campaign. I receive compensation for my work, and all views and opinions are my own.

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 to graduate. Not only did they help me with university, but I decide to go to college afterwards, for another degree, and they helped me with that, too. Of course, being the great financial planners they are, they had started saving money from when I was a little girl, so all these expenses weren't so outrageous to them when the time came to 'fork over the money', so to speak.

After university and college, I accepted an internship at CBS TV in Washington, D.C. so a move to the US was also something I needed help financing. Again, thanks to smart parents who knew about the benefits of starting an RESP early, I was able to make those dreams come true for me, too. I want to make sure my husband and I are doing all we can to help our children achieve their dreams, too.


My parents taught me well, and even though I am more of a spender than a saver, I've learned that even though our children are young now—only nine and six years old—time goes by quickly, and soon, they'll be the once applying for university. (Dear God, please in the same city as me, and please, let them move within walking distance from me!) Saving for my boys is almost an enjoyable process, because I know this is something that will benefit them in the long run.

With regular contributions into their RESP, you'd be surprised how quickly your money can grow. (For example, $25 a week can add up to over $50,000 in 18 years—pretty impressive, right?) Because of the decisions my parents made for me—and the decisions my husband's parents made for him—it motivated us to make the same smart financial choices for our children.

RESP only sounds scary, and at first, you might not have all the answers. In fact, you might have a lot of silly questions, but don't worry—when you sit down at the bank, there is nothing you're asking that hasn't been asked before. And remember: no question is a stupid question! So ask away. Ask about what happens if you need quick access to the money, ask about how much you have to put in annually, ask anything you want. (Did you know that other family members can also contribute to your child's RESP? For the kids that have everything, I think that's pretty brilliant, no? After all, who needs more toys in the house gathering dust?)

Here's some useful information that I think is worth sharing: The Canada Education Savings Grant will match up to 20% on the first $2,500 contributed annually. That could mean up to an additional $500 a year in your RESP, for a maximum of just over $7,000.

Right now, you can enter to win money (there are four prizes of $500 that'll go toward your child's RESP) for your child's RESP through RBC. It's an easy contest to enter and so worth it. 

With RBC, you have flexibility to use your children's RESP for university, college, apprenticeship, non-credit courses, and more. For more information, check out their site. They'll have all the answers you need!

Disclosure: I am part of the RBC RESP blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.


Monday, September 15, 2014

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 a lot of great learning going on at conferences like BlissDom Canada, and I think people really enjoy the micro-sessions. It's learning in a more relaxed, intimate setting, where you get the chance to ask all the questions, network, and meet new friends and business associates who share the same goals and ideas as you.

I'm going to be leading (three) micro-sessions on Saturday, October 4th about How to take your love of blogging to the next level and make it your business.

Here's some more information about my session:

From Blog To Business

Whether you're passionate about food, fashion, beauty or travel, you'll learn about how you can take your blog to the next level and make it your business. Through sponsored posts to ad spots on your site, you'll earn what it takes to turn your blogging hobby into a business where you're making money. Tips include who to work as a Brand Ambassador, reaching out to a wider audience through TV appearances, and working as a spokesperson. Also covered in this session: how to approach companies and brands you're interested in working with, when it's okay to work for free, and how to say no without feeling guilty. 

If you're attending BlissDom Canada 2014, I can't wait to see you again, and if we haven't met before—I can't wait to meet you! I hope you'll consider signing up for my micro-session. I can't wait to chat with you and get to know you a little better.

If you have any questions before, during, or after the conference, don't be shy. Email me at loukiazigoumis@gmail.com.  (I love to chat!)

Thank you!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

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 really love products that help me feel good and products that help refresh me so I can look more youthful... and less tired! The Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate contains Edelweiss plant stem cells and the product instantly refreshes the eyes, and smooths out the appearance of lines and bags, for younger-looking eyes. It has a cool innovative cooling roller ball pump applicator, too, so it's easy to apply. I love that this eye cream makes tired eyes look more awake, and I love that it has a youth-enhancing boost. This is brand new in stores this month, so make sure to stock up soon.


Color Crush Nails: The Body Shop has come out with a brand-new line of nail polish with 24 uplifting, colourful shades. You're certain to find your favourite colour in this collection! The best part about this new collection? The nail polish contains no harsh chemicals, they are totally vegan, and they're not tested on animals. Also, the nail polish leaves a gorgeous glossy finish and it's quick drying—that's a must for me!


Colour Crush Shine Lipstick: I love the lipstick from The Body Shop—I've found these lipsticks to be long-lasting and very moisturizing, with the just the right amount of shine. These lipsticks retail for only $13.00, so you can buy all your favourite shades without spending too much.




Coconut Body Butter: My favourite go-to body lotion has always been the Coconut Body Butter. It works amazingly well, no matter how dry your skin is. It's rich and creamy and melts easily in the skin. Of course, I especially love the delicious tropical coconut scent. It instantly takes me away... to my favourite vacation spot and happy memories of summer. The Coconut Body Butter contains Community Fair Trade virgin organic coconut oil and provides long-lasting 24-hour hydration.



All-In-One BB Cream: BB Creams are all the rage, and I loving using a good BB Cream before applying my make-up. I find that it's a great primer before you put on your other make-up, like blush, eye shadow, and lipstick. Some BB Creams can feel too heavy, but this All-In-One BB cream  provides light to medium coverage and an even finish, and it's easy to use. It's non-clogging and offers 24-hour hydration. It starts off as a white cream that adapts to your skin tone.



Vitamin E Moisture Cream: This is one Body Shop's best-sellers, because it's so moisturizing and gentle on sensitive, dry skin. This moisturizer leaves skin very soft and smooth, and it's only $8.50—a complete steal for the great job it does.



Thank you, Body Shop, for the fabulous products—I'm always impressed and I love what you send my way

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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 ShoeMe.ca, 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, you'll always be on trend and looking amazing, especially in these elegant booties. These are perfect for a night out, paired with tights and an LBD, or with your favourite pair of skinny jeans. These are just under $200.00—you can find them online for $195.00.




If you're looking for a pair of boots that are a bit more practical that you can wear every day, I'm loving these Rag and Bone boots. They're around $600.00, but you can justify the money you'll spend on them by knowing they'll easily become your go-to boots that you'll wear every day. See? I'm a problem-solving shopper!

I also adore these Rag and Bone boots... a lot. Perfect with a pair of skinny jeans or a little dress, don't you agree?


Looking for a sexy boot in a leopard print? I'm loving these from Nine West!


And I love these Nine West booties, because they have a bit of a peep-toe, so you can still show off your gorgeous, perfectly pedicured toes while wearing these. These are a great pair of booties to help you transition into fall, too. 

Of course, no boot report would be complete without a pair of classic boots by Frye, and these are the ones I'm totally falling in love with. I think they're sexy, classic, and comfortable. They're certainly worth the investment, and they come in copper, dark brown, and black. You can order them online from Nordstrom.com. Say hello to your new best friend!



For every day, I also love these pair of Trolley ankle booties. You can order these online at Nordstrom, too, and soon enough, you can shop Nordstrom right here in Ottawa. (I'm so excited!)


If you're trying to stay warm and still look fashionable and chic, check out these beauties by UGG. Aren't they adorable? I want them. In fact, I NEED them! (It's not too early to make that holiday list, right? Maybe I am slowly getting over summer...)


And just because we all love Christian Louboutin so much, I had to include these gorgeous black ankle boots. They're simply... stunning. We all need a little red soles in our lives, right?


Happy boot shopping, friends, and welcome to fall!

Monday, September 8, 2014

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 your neighbourhood to spas around the world.

I love giving WaySpa gift certificates to friends for special occasions, too, like birthdays, the birth of a child, or for the holidays. There is no gift I appreciate more than a gift card to the spa!


When you go online to WaySpa, you just enter the city you're searching for, and all the listings of the participating spas and salons pop up, with pictures, prices, and descriptions of services. WaySpa makes spa-searching quick, easy, and relaxing. WaySpa's spa partners include hotel spas, ultra-luxuirous day spas, salon spas, and so much more.

I spent the day before my birthday at Holtz Spa, an Ottawa spa partnered with WaySpa, enjoying a one-hour relaxation massage. I was in need... and it was totally wonderful. See the face of relaxation?


I've talked about WaySpa before on CTV and in blog posts, and now I'm so happy to be sharing even more WaySpa news and updates with you on a regular basis. Stay tuned for more news from my friends at WaySpa, and in the meantime—please check out WaySpa yourself to see what I'm talking about. It's time to treat yourself.

Enjoy!



Disclosure: I am a Brand Ambassador for WaySpa.com, and I receive special perks, gift cards, and compensation for my work. All views and opinions are my own. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

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 bestselling Canadian author (who wrote this book under a pseudonym) so the writing style is really impressive. (I'm dying to find out who the real author is! Aren't you?) No constant lip-biting nonsense here, only purely sexual scenes combined with murder-mystery and romance. Pretty much everything that makes a book exciting.


Claudine is about a women who is sexy, powerful, smart, independent and in control.  That just adds to the sexiness of the book, in my opinion.

The main character is a postgrad Yale student who is also a high class courtesan—think Secret Diary Of A Call Girl. You'll get lost in her world from the moment you start reading the book, and I promise, you won't be able to put it down until you're finished reading.

"Maria Lantos is a postgrad Yale student researching illicit eighteenth-century literature. She's become exceptionally well-versed in the narratives of classic erotic fantasy. She's also Claudine, an in-demand escort specializing in sexual role play for an elite clientele. Anonymous. Satisfying. And discreet. Until the tenuous separation between her worlds start to crack. It begins with the murder of a stranger..."

And so, as you see, things get even more interesting...

This is one of those books I'll recommend to all my friend who are looking for an interesting and juicy read. It's hot. It's exciting. And it's a page-turner.

I don't want to give too much away, but I promise you'll love it as much as I did, and you'll finally understand how great erotica can be, if done right.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

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. Highlight this year? Meeting Katy Perry after her concert, all thanks to Cover Girl. And to come? Speaking as a Community Leader at BlissDom Canada.


5. Greece. Our recent vacation with the kids brought back so many childhood memories of the summers I spent there, and now my boys love Greece as much as I do.





6. Wine... white, red, doesn't matter—just as long as it's good, and shared with friends.



7. Great food.




8. The ocean. It is my therapy, and nothing beats running into the waves and the sound and smell of the sea.




9. Books and reading. I've had a book in my hand since I was 12.



10. Where I'm from. Memories, new and old, good and bad, make up who I am today. I love where I'm from, where I've been, and I'm hoping where I'm heading is the place I need to be.

Here's to another wonderful year!

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