#Ipsyblockparty Summer Beauty Favourites

17th June 2019

ipsy arrived just in time to kickoff a new season and these 10 popular beauty products are invited to the Block Party! Ready to have fun in the sun?

I Am Trash perfume : made with upcycled ingredients, the name threw me off but the fragrance is light and divine with fruity notes, rose and cedarwood.

Laneige water bank cream : I don’t use this as my base moisturizer but it’s a handy mid-day pick me up especially if you are at the beach or pool. Just apply a dot to your forehead and cheeks to brighten and refresh skin tone.

First Aid Beauty repair primer : less is more in this heat so instead of wearing foundation and concealers, I use this primer to get that naturally radiant finish. It’s got light-diffusing micropearls!

Tonymoly jelly cleanser : K-Beauty obsessed? Then this rich lathering cleanser is for you!

Realher lipstick in sorry, not sorry : the rosy pink colour perfectly compliments sun-kissed skin. I typically use a lip balm first but this lipstick is moisturizing enough to wear on its own. It’s got shea butter and vitamin e.

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Make This! Mini Cheesecake Bites

10th June 2019

Mini Cheesecake

If you have 10 minutes and an ice cube tray, you can make these delicious (and healthy) frozen vegan cheesecake bites that I learned from Moira of Feel Good Guru.

They are 0% dairy but 100% scrumptious and contain just 5 ingredients.

Perfect to bring to summer picnics or snack on at home… but don’t say I didn’t warn you because after you have one, you may not be able to stop!  

Ingredients (use organic when possible):

  • 1 cup cashews soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/8 cup of lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter
  • your favourite berries

Preparation:

First puree your fruit in a blender and pour a thin layer into an ice cube tray. Then blend the rest of the ingredients and pour into the trays to create a second layer. Done! It’s as simple as that.

You can add popsicle sticks to make cheesecake pops. Freeze for at least half a day and enjoy!

 

#GoRaptors

30th May 2019

It’s game day. And the Toronto Raptors are in the NBA Playoffs!

I can’t stop watching this history-in-the-making clip. STILL holding my breath seeing that ball bounce FOUR times off the rim before landing in the net!

I’m especially excited because my two home teams will be playing against each other WOW!

When I came across this photo, I knew I had to share because I spent a lot of time looking at it. It represents me and brings a lot of comfort. Two wonderful cities on opposite coasts, miles apart… the sparkling red Golden Gate Bridge and the twinkling CN Tower almost merging and bringing me closer to all the things, familiarities, friends and family that I left and miss dearly.

See I had to overcome a lot of challenges moving here, so I do feel like one of those Raptors perched on the bridge, fighting to be in the Bay Area.

Either way, whoever comes out of this game as the better team, I’ll feel like I won. But ya know I’ll be cheering on the Raptors! Even Californians have been telling me that Toronto’s team spirit is off the charts. #GoRaptors

Raptors vs. Warriors, will you be watching the game and who are you rooting for?


Photo credit: Phantamas

CONFESSION: Not #collegeadmissionsscandal but I was prepared to make a ‘generous donation’ for preschool

15th March 2019

Let’s talk about this week’s hot and controversial topic #collegeadmissionscandal.

It’s wrong. Period. And it’s not just something the ‘rich and elite’ would do but the middle class is just as guilty. I am just as guilty (sorta). Not to the extremes of photoshopping my son into Little League Soccer or paying off admissions counsellors (he’s five)…

But several years ago, I jokingly told my husband to get the cheque book out and be prepared to slip a ‘donation’ alongside the preschool application to ‘move CJ to the front of the line’… I was half laughing but bang on serious because I didn’t know what else to do.

Elite mentality? No. Desperate mom? Yes.

In Toronto, child care options for ages 1-3 are scarce. So scarce, that as more young families are choosing to raise their kids downtown, the waitlist could be up to 2+ years for reputable daycares and private schools!

It’s so bad that for new parents living in The 6ix, we can only partially blame sleepless nights on a crying baby. The other contributor is due to this BROKEN SYSTEM where there is a high premium and looooong wait for EVERYTHING that involves children.

So while I didn’t end up having to make that donation — plus it did occur to me that a morally ethical school wouldn’t accept it anyway haha. I ended up applying for 3 schools and landed a spot for my top pick at a wonderful Montessori School by being over-prepared and organized… basically waddling in at 8 months pregnant to meet with the Owner/Director and dropping a large deposit to secure CJ his spot for TWO YEARS LATER! I won the golden ticket.


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Shifting Gears in 2019

8th February 2019

I made some bold and heart palpitating changes in 2018. Traveling for most of the year and worldschooling CJ then making a giant move from Toronto to the SF Bay Area.

As Facebook Memories pop up and as I flip through my phone photos, I can’t help but feel accomplished and marvel at the big adventures (and risks) our little family took!

So how on earth am I going to top that?!?!

I’ve been asking myself this as I start a new chapter. Things were certainly not stale in my life but the one thing that did need shaking up was my career. Adfluent, our ad agency had been running auto-pilot, the demands of moving, traveling and motherhood had pushed it to the back seat. And part of me no longer had the motivation to move it to the forefront again.

After a few months of introspection and snooping around an incredible Female Founders Facebook community to see what other boss ladies were doing, I decided to stick with marketing. I mean when I get fired up talking about paid search and retargeting, ya know that is where my passion lies. Plus I’m pretty darn great at it haha.

But the new spin is that after marketing other people’s products and services for the past decade and half, it’s really time to have a product of my OWN to market. The ultimate goal is creating and making it myself, but I’m not at that stage yet so for now, I’ve curated it from overseas.

More about the actual product later but I’m staring an e-commerce business and I’m pretty darn excited about it! The niche I decided to focus on is mental health and wellness. A nod to my psychology degree and because I genuinely believe our world needs extra love these days.


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Tea Time At Crown & Crumpet SF

9th January 2019

It’s ‘winter’ in the Bay Area and that means lots more rain and fog. But a cup of steaming tea + warm scones and a good gab fest with the girls can definitely brighten up the day!

Crown & Crumpet is located in a modern building wedged between authentic shops and salons in Japantown. From the glass exterior, it doesn’t much resemble an English Tea Stop but inside, florals and whimsical decorations adorn white walls and pastel pink bench seating.

Afternoon Tea is reasonably priced at $32 per person. You get a large pot of loose leaf tea, two freshly made little sandwiches, two warm savouries, one scone and crumpet with clotted cream, house-made lemon curd and jam, and five bite-sized sweets.


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Happy Holidays!

20th December 2018

Why does family photos always have to involve begging, bribing, yelling and a broken candy cane?!

Here’s Xmas 2018. From ours to yours… happy holidays everyone! 💕🎄🎅🦌⛄

#MomTruth: When It’s Way Too Quiet

2nd November 2018

Kids Drawing

Every mom knows quiet typically = mayhem.

So when I didn’t hear a peep from CJ this morning, I wondered if he decided to use strawberry jam as finger paint or if he managed to get his little hands on a UPS box full of foam peanuts again…

This was last year when I left for 2 mins to go to the bathroom!

Mom truth

But instead he handed me this cute drawing taped with treats from his precious Halloween stash. ‘This is you mommy and this is me.’ Instead of a heart attack, my heart melted. 💙🍬

I’ll love to hear what kind of shenanigans happens in your home when it’s just wayyyy too quiet?!

 

The Best Halloween Costume Shops In Toronto

1st October 2018

Halloween Costumes

Malabar – go early to avoid lineups! This place is the grand daddy one stop shop for all your favourite costumes and accessories in downtown TO. They have very knowledgeable staff and carry an extensive array of pre-packaged costumes, rentals, professional makeup, wigs, hats, masks and everything else your little devil’s heart desires.

Spirit Halloween – city slicker ghosts and goblins can now conveniently shop at this popup on Queen Street West. Costumes for the whole family, props and decorations can all be found here. (Get 20% off any item here.)

Creepers – located in Oakville, they call themselves Canada’s creepiest and sexiest Halloween superstore and rightfully so because they’ve got everything! The staff even dress up as their favourite characters. Their “Pop Culture” section is pretty cool with costumes from Harley Quinn, The Walking Dead, Transformers and popular video game heroes.

Halloween Costume Shop

Exile Vintage  – remember Mr. Dressup’s trunk? Well this place in Kensington Market reminds me of it. There are racks and racks of second-hand clothing and vintage pieces that make excellent costumes if you’ve got the creativity.

 

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Back To School Traditions

16th August 2018

Back To School

CJ started Montessori School in Toronto when he was two. Then at four, he joined Life Project Education for a few weeks while we were digital nomading in Costa Rica. Next month he’ll be entering pre-kindergarten at his new school in the SF Bay Area.

This kid sure gets around! And I was right there with him at every first drop-off… with a big encouraging smile all the while holding back tears behind my extra large sunglasses.

We mark the end of summer (gosh is it really, already?!) with a trip to the CNE, filling our bellies with cinnamon dusted Tiny Tom donuts. Then it’s all about the photos on the first day. Bribing CJ with swedish berries for a snapshot by his locker. At the end of the school year, we ask his teachers to write messages in a copy of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh The Places You’ll Go”… which we plan to give him on his graduation.

Back to school sign

Here are a few other fun ideas to kick off your new school year…

Get a large t-shirt made with “class of _____”. How cute would it be to take a photo each year and watch them grow into their grad shirt. (It’s going to be #classof2032 for us!!)

If you have little ones, tame their jitters (and your anxiety) by reading The Kissing Hand or The Invisible String together.

Make a schuletüte – a great arts and crafts project! Based on a German tradition, it’s basically a school surprise ‘cone’ that parents fill up with supplies and treats. Check out Pinterest for inspo.

 

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