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Last weekend I set out on an adventure with my friend Jenelle (check out her recap here) and the guys (who, thank god, are more than happy to take pictures for us when it means they get to do something fun) for a weekend of “camping” and amusement park fun. The destination? Darien Lake, a theme park and campground located just outside of Buffalo.

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This park holds a lot of memories and nostalgia for me. From the time I was about 5 until I was 19, my parents rounded my brothers and I up every summer for a few days where we could enjoy the rides and my parents could have a good time. We were often accompanied by other friends or family members, which meant a good time was always had.

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This year, we decided to give Darien Lake another try. It’s been about ten years since my last visit, and I couldn’t wait to go down to relive the fun, see what had changed, and what has stayed the same. We headed down on Friday evening in this killer Chevrolet Tahoe (which might have to be my next ride) which was unbelievable. It was huge, which meant we had tons of room for everything we brought down, and some amazing features that were definitely well used (Apple Carplay, in-car wifi).

via GIPHY

While Darien Lake does offer a campground for those who want to “rough it”, they also offer trailer rentals, a full hotel, and, most recently, glamping and cabin rentals. We were able to spend a couple of nights in one of these new cabins and it was absolutely perfect! It sleeps 6 comfortable, with two bedrooms, a sitting area with pull out futon and all of the amenities you could need. We loved the covered porch (it did rain a bit) and the fire pit area was definitely taken advantage of.

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When it comes to the park, it was exactly as I remembered it! Of course, a few things have changed. There were a few new rides that weren’t there when I used to go, and most of the old ones that I loved were still running. We made it through almost all of the roller coasters (Boomerang was down for maintenance when we stopped by on the last day which just means we have to go back next year) and some of the more tame rides. We didn’t have a chance to check the water park out because we got rained out when we were planning on going, but the  newer slides and rides looked like so much fun. We also took a ride on the rather large ferris wheel that gave us an amazing view of the park.

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Jenelle put together this fun video so you can get an even better idea of what our trip was like:

I think we’ve started a new tradition! I already can’t wait to go back next year – thanks again to Darien Lake for having us and to Chevrolet for providing such a killer ride.

Have you ever been to Darien Lake? What’s your favourite summer destination?


Disclaimer: This trip was sponsored by Darien Lake and Chevrolet Canada, but as always, opinions are 100% my own! xo

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Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a killer weekend. I definitely did since it was the first weekend in Toronto this summer that it hasn’t rained at all. Finally… Sunshine.

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Since it’s Monday, and Mondays aren’t always the most fun, I want to try to cheer everyone up with an amazing giveaway. My friend Gloria Chik from Rogue Stories spends a lot of her time traveling and recently put all of her time into creating The Flight Pack, a beautiful minimalistic tavel bag that takes the hassle out of packing and trying to find what you need when you’re on the go. It makes it easy to carry your essentials around without having to worry about clutter and losing sight of what you need.

The Flight Pack will be launching on Kickstarter on August 2nd, so be sure to check back on the site in the next few days to grab yours. In anticipation of this, we’ve partnered up to give one of you a chance to win The Flight Pack and a Carry-On Cocktail Kit so you’ll be ready for your next trip!

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Win The Flight Pack and a Carry-On Cocktail Kit. (Valued at $150)

Whether you’re a frequent traveler or an aspiring nomad, this might be for you.  The Flight Pack is a minimalistic, modular travel bag that’s carefully designed to keep your travel essentials organized your way. Made with premium vegan leather, gun metal details and microsuede lining, this water resistant bag will be your partner in crime when traveling.  We’ll announce the winner on August 2nd.

Where are you planning on traveling next?

 

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If you’re anything like me, you love exploring new places. And while we’re celebrating Canada 150 is there really any better excuse for getting out and discovering more of this great country? I decided to start local and spent some time in the Windsor – Essex area recently.

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I was honestly blown away by some of the things that we were able to see; who knew that somewhere only a few hours away has so much to offer? In case you’re looking for a weekend escape, I’ve pulled together the elements you should throw in to create the perfect girl’s getaway in Windsor!

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Go on a boat cruise: Is there really any better way to get to see a city than by water? Get out on a fun river cruise to check out both the Windsor & Detroit skylines, the gorgeous cottages and get an unbelievable view of the Ambassador Bridge. The dinner and dance cruise with Windsor River Cruises gives you the perfect chance to enjoy some drinks and dinner on the river, and the DJ keeps the tunes going all evening as you sail into the sunset.

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Catch up at a cafe: Ladies, let’s be honest – we all love a cute cafe, and Windsor has no shortage of them. The new “Windsor Essex Coffee Trail” has several amazing stops with delicious coffee so you can refuel before continuing on with the rest of the fun you have planned. Taloola Cafe has a selection of delicious coffee beverages (including a few smoothies – try the Good Morning Smoothie for a fresh boost) and a really unique, artsy setting.

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Cafe March 21 is also an absolute must if you’re in the area. I fell in love with this quirky café that’s full of fun little surprises, like Woody from Toy Story hanging from a vent over the cash. The delicious treats are all baked in house and they take their coffee seriously.

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Hit up the casino: Obviously you can’t have a girls’ weekend in Windsor without a trip to the casino, which means you have to go! A visit to Caesar’s Windsor will give you a taste of Vegas with tons of slot machines & table games, plenty of entertainment and a perfect location near the water. If you win big, you can even treat your girls to a spa day at the Spa by Windsor Arms.

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Find a charming B&B: Is there anything cuter than a cozy bed and breakfast? They’re picturesque (I did it for the Insta) and give you a completely different setting that almost makes it feel like a home away from home.

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Plan a girls’ night in at a beautiful spot like the Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast, enjoy some local eats & wine, and have the best sleep of your life.

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Checking out Cooper’s Hawk with Eleni, Kait, Kelsey & Marissa

Discover your new favourite wine: When you’re on a girls’ getaway, wine must be on the agenda. Luckily, you’re in the heart of one of the best wine areas this country has to offer. Plan a few tastings in the Essex Pelee Island Coast Wine Country  and discover some amazing vineyards you might now have tried before.

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I definitely recommend stopping by Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards to try their dry Riesling & enjoy a meal in their on-site restaurant.

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Get active: Go on a little adventure and get active. The Windsor-Essex area has a plethora of activities to get you outside so you can enjoy the summer weather. Try golfing at Rochester Place Golf Club & Resort for a leisurely afternoon activity (drinks on the golf cart are a necessity) and enjoy a post-game bite at The Parkside Grille – the food is amazing!

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If you want to get out on the water, there’s really no better option than paddle boarding, something I fell in love with while in Costa Rica. It’s such a fun activity and Urban Surf Co (run by the coolest people you might ever meet) will make it a blast. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll love paddling around the water.

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Oh, and the post-paddle boarding refreshments they serve at their smoothie bar are so delish.

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Go explore: Point Pelee National Park, which has the southernmost tip of Mainland Canada, is gorgeous. Filled with lush greenery, relaxing beaches & lots of wildlife, the park is worth a visit.

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The 10-person freighter canoe excursion shows you another side of the park, and a beautiful new pavilion area is great for a beach-side picnic. And as a bonus, admission is free with a Parks Canada Discovery Pass this year!

Will you be planning a girls’ getaway in Windsor any time soon? What types of activities do you like to do when you go away?

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Packing for a vacation isn’t always easy.  I find I’m constantly making a list and checking it twice leading up to the day of departure.  Of course, cutting down on space is always an issue – I swear, I usually try to bring absolutely everything, which is definitely problematic.  I mean really, how much can I possibly use over the course of a week?  I picked a few products that are my must-haves to try to cut down on what I bring.  What will you find in this list? Some multi-taskers, some that make getting ready a little easier, and a couple that are just downright fun.

  • Benefit Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector – this tube of goodness (full review here) is right at the top of my vacation packing list.  It helps even out the complexion without providing too much coverage (hey, it’s a vacation – you don’t need to be overdone) while sun protection of SPF 35 helps to put my mind at ease when I know I’m going to be spending a little time out in the sun.
  • Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara – My new favourite waterproof mascara!  Once on, this stuff doesn’t budge, which is perfect for spending a day at the pool or on the beach. No one has time for raccoon eyes and this does the trick.  It also adds lots of length and volume to every lash with its fantastic curved brush – the perfect choice for sending a wink that hot lifeguard’s way.
  • L’Oreal Paris Youthcode Pore Vanisher – When I’m on vacation, the last thing I want is to look shiny.  I like to blend some of this pore vanisher into my skin before applying makeup and heading out the door.  It really helps to minimize the look of pores and zaps the shine for a matte look.
  • imPRESS Press-On Manicure with Ultra Gel Shine – I’ve been obsessed with these press-on nails for a while now and figured there’s no better place to rock these than on vacation!  They help to accomplish a couple of things for me; my nails look fantastic and fun (there are a ton of different colours/designs to choose from) and I don’t have to worry about polish chips & broken nails.  When I’m on vacay, I don’t want to have to worry about doing my nails and these very quickly and easily solve that problem.
  • Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream – When I’m rocking shorts, skirts and bathing suits, this lotion is a lifesaver.  With a light tint (it comes in light and medium/deep), it helps to even out and illuminate the skin, giving skin an immediate boost that builds up as you continue use.  I love the fact that it acts as a tinted moisturizer for your body and really does help to give the skin a healthier appearance.
  • Gilette Venus Snap with Embrace – I’m in love with this pint-sized version of the Venus razor.  It literally fits in the palm of my hand and comes with a little carrying case for easy travel.  It fits easily into luggage and works just as well as the full-sized version.
  • mark. That’s Beachy Texturizing Surf Spray – If you’re like me, sometimes you just get lazy with vacation hair.  When I’m getting out of the pool or planning on lounging around, I don’t really want to spend time blow drying, straightening or curling, which is where this spray comes in handy.  Spritz it throughout the hair and give your locks a scrunch to add some wave before diffusing or letting it air dry.  Voila – beach/worthy waves that make mermaids jealous.
  • got2b Guardian Angel Frizz Taming Hairspray – One downside or vacationing somewhere hot?  Humidity and frizz.  Thank the hair gods for this spray, which helps to tame the frizz so you don’t end up looking like Medusa once the humidity hits.  Spray some on before heading out and enjoy smooth, frizz-free locks.
  • Nuxe ‘I Am Prodigious’ Huile Prodigieuse OR (Limited Edition) – When showing off a bit more skin, I want it to look fantastic.  This gold, shimmering oil is the perfect companion for a night out dancing or lounging by the pool.  The oil adds great moisture which the gold shimmer helps to highlight and illuminate the skin.

What are you vacation beauty essentials?

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