Is there anything better than a getaway with some of your best girlfriends? Maybe, if it includes a stay at a spa like the one we had a few weeks back. A few of my fave blogger babes (Jenelle, Sandra, Zeba & Eleni) took a trip up to Ste Anne’s Spa in Grafton, Ontario, for a luxurious and relaxing overnight stay. Take a look:

We were treated like queens during our entire stay – the staff at Ste Anne’s Spa is always ready to help and very attentive, the food was delicious, and the spa treatments are to die for. I enjoyed the contouring mud stone wrap, which was a combination of a little bit of everything – hot stone massage, mud wrap and foot/scalp/chest massage. We also spent a lot of time in the outdoor pools and the eucalyptus steam room. The spa is gorgeous and the facilities are really well cared for. They even have snack & drink stations set up to replenish yourself during your stay.

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During our visit, we stayed in one of Ste Anne’s beautiful cottages, Vista Lago. The place was beautiful and sleeps 4-8 people comfortably, with 4 bedrooms (2 king beds, 2 queens), a beautiful living room, kitchen and hot tub. It even included a conference room, making this a great option for a work retreat. Our cottage was a quick 5 minute drive from the spa, and they have a shuttle service available to take you back and forth if needed.

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Another thing I have to touch on is the food. We were able to enjoy high tea, breakfast and lunch at the on-site restaurant, and everything was fantastic. They had delicious menu options which we all enjoyed, and they were extremely accommodating of the dietary restrictions that we had in our group (think gluten-free, nut allergies and vegetarian options). The best part of it all had to be the private chef meal that we enjoyed in our cottage on our first day. Is there anything better than sipping wine with your friends and staying cozy in your pyjamas while someone else cooks for you? I don’t think so.

Overall, we had an amazing time at Ste Anne’s Spa and I will definitely be going back. I think this would be perfect for a bachelorette or birthday party with a group of friends who want to relax and unwind, or a getaway with that special someone. Have you ever been to Ste Anne’s Spa?

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Disclosure: Ste Anne’s Spa graciously hosted us for our visit, but as always opinions are 100% my own! xo

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2018 is only a few days away and with it comes a chance for a fresh start. Like many of you, I’ve decided that fitness is at the top of my list and this year I want to make a real promise to myself to stick with it. I’m going to be turning 30 in April and I want to be in the best shape of my life – both physically & mentally, but also in life in general. Am I going to become a fitness junkie? Nah. Am I going to try to be more active, eat healthier & make small life changes to get there? Absolutely.

If you’re like me and want to make a difference in your life this year, I’ve pulled together a list of a few products that might help to make your goals a bit more attainable. Check them out in and let me know in the comments below what your resolutions are & how you plan on getting there! (And don’t forget to sign up for your free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime for better pricing and free shipping on these items!)

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1. A cute pair of yoga leggings – Let’s face it, having a new set of workout clothes is definitely motivation to get back into a fitness routine. These leggings come in several colours and patterns and the stretchy material is great for easy movement.

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2. A fitness tracker – If you feel like you need a bit more of a push to stay active throughout the day, a fitness tracker might be just what you need. The Fitbit Charge 2 tracks your activity throughout the day, calories burned, heart rate and sleep among other things. I love that it reminds you to get up and move if you’ve been inactive for a while, which is great if you sit at a desk all day.

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3. Some new kicks – If you’ve been wearing your running shoes for a while, now might be a good time to pick up a new pair. A new pair of shoes can give you the support you need while active and help improve your workouts.

 

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4. A convenient yoga mat – Looking for an easy activity you can do at home? Yoga is great for any level of activity and can help improve your mindfulness while you’re at it. A comfortable yoga mat, like this affordable version, can be carried anywhere. There are tons of apps out there that can help you get your routine started on your own or check out a local class to get going.

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5. A motivating cookbook  – Feeling healthier is just as much about taking care of yourself on the inside as on the outside. If you need some inspiration for healthier food options that taste good, try picking up a few cookbooks that focus on delicious, good-for-you meals. There are a ton of options out there right now, like The Beauty Chef and Oh She Glows, that will help you to make better food choices without sacrificing taste.

How do you plan to put your New Year’s Resolutions into action?

 

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Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a health kick. Between getting ready to head to Costa Rica for a few weeks (helloooo, I’m going to basically be living on the beach), coming out of winter and just generally trying to focus on myself a bit more, I’ve been trying to make some changes for a healthier and more positive lifestyle. Of course, part of this means eating properly and adding foods into my daily life that nourish and give benefits.  If you’re in the same boat, you’ll love this post, because I’m talking about how to make the perfect smoothie bowl (with a recipe!).

I love smoothies, and turning them into a bowl full of goodness is super easy – and fun! I really like having them this way, as it turns them into a fun snack. You can add different ingredients to get exactly what you want out of it and to make it taste the way that you want, and if you feel like getting creative, you can turn it into a bit of an art project.

I recently had a chance to get some insight into what makes the perfect smoothie bowl from Joy McCarthy, Holistic Nutritionist and the brains behind Joyous Health. In order to maximize the potential of your smoothie bowl, it’s important to ensure you have a combination of protein (which helps with things like metabolism, muscle recovery & healthy hair/skin/nails), good fat (to build healthy cells & regulate sex hormones), fiber (because your body needs to detox) and phytonutrients (for improved short and long-term health).

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And now, because I’m sure you’re all itching to have your own benefit-packed smoothie bowl, check out this recipe from Joy + a few of my favourite add-ons to make it even better!

Funky Monkey Smoothie Bowl Recipe

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 medjool date
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 scoop Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins+ in chocolate flavour (because this powder is fermented it is more easily absorbed for better nourishment – and it doesn’t cause bloating!

Blend all of the ingredients until smooth and pour into a bowl, then top with your favourite ingredients!

What do I like to add on?

  • Strawberries – full of polyphenols and Vitamin C to give my immune system a boost
  • Pumpkin seeds – packed with zinc and magnesium
  • Pomegranate seeds – antioxidant-rich
  • Hemp hearts – protein for improved metabolism
  • Raspberries – full of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber
  • Coconut – protein and fiber
  • Kiwi – high source of Vitamin C and helps improve skin and digestion
  • Dragonfruit – rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients
  • Genuine Health greens+ Extra Energy – jam-packed with phytonutrients with a clean, natural source of energy – you’ll honestly notice a change with regular use!

What would you add in for your perfect smoothie bowl?

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Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples sent for editorial consideration, but as always opinions are 100% my own! xo

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A couple of weeks ago, as you may have seen on my Instagram, I spent the night at the Templar Hotel with Refresh Botanicals. As past of my ambassadorship with the all-natural, Canadian skincare brand, I’ve been taking part in some fun activities that have been helping me to refresh my routine in different ways; So far I’ve been paddle boarding in the Beaches, done yoga on Toronto Island & took part in a super fun burlesque class… But I have to say, my favourite activity so far has to be this one!

Let’s face it – it’s not always easy to get enough sleep. Between work, activities, a social calendar and life in general, it can definitely be hard to get a good night’s rest! Refresh Botanicals checked myself and a couple of the other ambassadors into the hotel for the night to give us a chance to catch up on beauty sleep, and let me tell you – I definitely needed it! Things have been pretty hectic for me in the past few weeks, and I’ve noticed that I’ve had a hard time getting into a proper sleep routine.

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After checking into the hotel that night, I found a list of helpful sleep tips from local health and wellness expert Gary LeBlanc that I could start putting to use that evening, along with all of my favourite Refresh Botanicals products. The Night Restore Complex definitely came in handy during a night that was all about sleep – your skin and cells regenerate and restore the most while you sleep, which means it’s the perfect time to put it to use!

In the morning, we were treated to a delicious breakfast at Parcae, the new restaurant at the Templar Hotel, where we had a chance to chat with Gary & learn more about his essential sleep tips. I’ve been putting most of them to use since then, and I’m happy to report that I’ve been sleeping better & more soundly. I actually had trouble falling asleep for a while, most likely due to a new environment and big changes in my life, but putting these to work have helped!

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Now of course, I wouldn’t finish this post without sharing Gary’s top ten tips for better beauty rest (below). Give them a read and let me know your sleep tips in the comment section!

  1. Avoid bright artificial lights within 60-90 minutes of going to bed as it can suppress melatonin for up to 90 minutes. Before bed, dim the lights and avoid TV.
  2. Completely black out your bedroom (including alarm clocks and smart phones). Even small amounts of light can disrupt your production of melatonin and serotonin (sleep-supporting hormones).
  3. Avoid eating within 3 hours of going to bed. Digesting most of your dinner before before bed allows your body to dedicate all its resources to repair and maintenance.
  4. Steer clear of artificial sleep aids, such as sleeping pills. Studies have shown that sleep aids have a very small impact on the rate at which people fall asleep.
  5. Don’t use an alarm clock or use one that peacefully wakes you up. Try alarm clocks that use vibration or slowly increase alarm volume. Abruptly waking up can spike adrenaline.
  6. Avoid drinking water within 90 minutes of bedtime. This helps to prevent having to get up to go to the washroom during the night, interrupting a deep sleep.
  7. Cool your bedroom by 3-4 degrees at night. Your body temperature drops when you sleep, and turning the temperature down mimics this change, ensuring a more comfortable sleep.
  8. Exercise at least 3 times per week, for a minimum of 30 minutes per session. Exercising calms the body and the mind, and regular exercise has shown to help people sleep an extra 45 minutes per night.
  9. Try to maintain a consistent sleep cycle. Your sleep cycle – consistently going to bed and waking up at the same times – is part of your natural circadian rhythm, and constantly changing this confuses your body.
  10. Avoid sleeping on your stomach to reduce back pain and get the best sleep. Sleeping on your back is optimal. Although sleeping on your side is a good alternative, it can induce premature wrinkles.

PS. You might want to check back soon for a giveaway…

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