Ste Annes Spa

Friday, October 24, 2014

Get The Look: Cozy Bohemian Style

A sponsored hip + urban girl post.
By: Lisa Ng
I’m in need of a fall wardrobe refresh.
I was flipping through the sweaters in my closet the other day and I have stuff in there that’s over TEN years old! It was finally time for me to part with the old stuff that either didn’t fit properly, had holes in it or the colour/fit/style just wasn’t flattering on me. Once I gave my closet a proper wardrobe edit, I was able to take stock of the things that needed replacing or updating.
I am definitely embracing a cozy bohemian style for fall and picked out a few key favourites from Suzy Shier and H&M to get the look.
A playful boho top like this one from Suzy Shier (above) is a great jumping off point. I like to pair it up with skinny jeans and my moccasins. Layer it on with a cozy sweater for those chilly autumn nights.
For a bit of texture and warmth, I would go with this long waffle stitch cocoon duster sweater also available from Suzy Shier. Perfect with a pair of leggings and boots.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

WIN THIS TRIP! 10 Day Health Summit in the Dominican Republic

By Wendy Kam Marcy

As someone who obviously loves to eat... as evident in the many food reviews I've written on this site and the food porn on my Instagram, I'm learning that not everything labelled as "healthy", "natural" or even "vegetarian" is necessarily good for me.

So while I admit it's still a constant struggle to give up bacon, I've committed to Meatless Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Sundays for the last 2 years and have stopped splurging on new shoes so I could buy organic as much as possible.

I'm not about to get all hippy or save-the-animals here but after doing my own research and talking to older generation family members and my friends' parents, who are battling serious chronic health issues, I recognize that diet plays a tremendous role in preventing and treating progressive diseases. I'm in my mid-30's and plan to stay around for a looooong time!!

With that said, I wanted to share this CONTEST for a "trip that will literally change your life"... AND it also happens to be at a beautiful resort in the Dominican Republic!

My husband's ad agency is working with Dr. Shane Williams and the amazing doctors of Forks Over Knives to help promote this inaugural Plant-Based Health Summit. (If you haven't watched FoK, it's voted as one of the most influential documentaries of our time so grab it on Netflix!)

This contest closes on Friday, October 24 at midnight EST.

The winner receives flight, resort accommodations for 10 days, food/drink prepared by top plant-based chefs and admission to the Summit (valued at $3300). Click here for full details.

Good luck, eat well and please help us spread the word!

Want to learn more about the Trip? See here....

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Food Diary - Nashville, Tennessee

By: Lisa Ng

Yee-haw! I am back after an amazing week in Nashville, Tennessee.

If you're looking for a destination where you can eat southern food and sip on microbrews and artisan whiskey until you fall down singing a country song - then Nashville might be the city for you. Air Canada flies direct from Toronto and it's only a two-hour flight to this food-loving city.

I had a great time sampling the fried chicken + biscuits at Loveless Cafe

The Luxury Chocolate Show - Toronto

By: Lisa Ng 

I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday than standing around and eating a chocolate all day.

Well your wish - and mine are about to come true! The 4th Annual Luxury Chocolate Show will be taking over the rotunda of Roy Thompson Hall on Sunday November 2nd from 11 AM to 7 PM.

It is the only show of its kind in Canada and you can expect a diverse array of fine chocolates and chocolate-inspired products. Various vendors will be displaying, sampling and selling their fine chocolate products - just in time Christmas.

Highlight features of the show include: The Chocolate Makers Demonstration Stage, Chocolate Marketplace, The FREE Chocolate Making Classes, Chocolate Eating Contests and Games, Free Draws, Sculptures, Wine and Chocolate Pairing, Beer + Chocolate, Chocolate Book Store, Chocolate Casino .... and more!

Tickets are available online for $25.

To learn more

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women.

Friday, October 17, 2014

WIN a Trip to NYC with American Express Canada!

By: Lisa Ng
A sponsored hip + urban girl post.
Looking for a weekend getaway?
I am definitely in an end of summer slump but looking forward to planning a few travel adventures in the fall before the busy holiday season starts. One of my all-time favourite destinations is New York City!
It’s a great place to experience the excitement of a show, do a little shopping and grab dinner at some of the most amazing restaurants in the world. I also try to catchup with friends, scour the flea markets and shop for food souvenirs while I’m there.
But dreaming of a getaway to NYC can become a reality if you’re an Amex Cardmember!  From October 17th to November 14th, 2014, every time you shop at participating retailers with your Amex Card, you’ll be automatically entered to win a trip to NYC! Just register your Card and let the fall shopping begin.
I haven’t done my fall shopping yet but I already know how I’m going to earn my entries! I have my eye on a few things from Holt Renfrew, The Bay and Browns Shoes to round out my wardrobe:
A few easy weekend pieces 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Checking In: Renaissance Aruba Ocean Suites

When hubby and I decided it was finally time to take a family vacation with our 5 year old daughter, I was little concerned about his insistence that we go in September. Sure, we had a pretty non-existent summer and it would be nice to celebrate our 8th anniversary in a tropical destination but booking Caribbean destinations late summer / early fall can be a little tricky if you're looking to avoid hurricanes or the rainy season in general, unless you head way south to the charming island of Aruba. Situated just below the hurricane belt and approximately 25 kilometers north of Venezuela, Aruba has a consistently dry climate that's lined with spectacular white sand beaches and shallow turquoise waters. Aruba's capital, Oranjestad, is home to Queen Beatrix International Airport and a wide selection of hotels, all-inclusive resorts and rental properties. After much research we happily settled on the family-friendly, Renaissance Aruba Ocean Suites (Ren Aruba) and loved our stay. 

The Location: A short 10 minute taxi ride from the airport that cost $21 USD, Ren Aruba is located right downtown Oranjestad in an entertainment complex that includes a wide variety of restaurants, 2 casinos, a move theatre, a marketplace and a luxury shopping mall. Exploring the island is easy via bus and the terminal is about a 7 minute walk from the hotel. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Best Halloween Costume Stores In Toronto

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Halloween is no longer a holiday for the kiddies. Girls can now use it as an excuse to show some extra skin and boys can finally try on their girlfriend's eyeliner!

So what are the top costumes this year? We are hearing everything from flapper-inspired dresses from The Great Gatsby, Khaleesi (Games of Thrones), Anna and Elsa (Frozen), Black Widow (The Avengers), Super Hero characters and of course, zombies from The Walking Dead!

Malabar - is so popular that you'll find yourself in a lineup if you go the week of Halloween.  However, it's worth the wait because this is our favourite costume store hands-down in all of Toronto! They have very knowledgeable staff and carry an extensive array of pre-packaged costumes, accessories, rentals, makeup, wigs, hats, masks and everything else your little devil's heart desires.

Creepers - 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 the Green Hornet, The Walking Dead, Transformers, Suckerpunch and popular video game heroes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Seven Beach Getaway Ideas

Hanging in Hawaii
By: Lisa Ng

We all know winter is coming soon.

Which is why I'm already jumping on the winter beach vacation bandwagon! It's never too early to start planning and booking early can save you a bit of cash. Especially if you're booking your flight separately. Dreams of tropical beaches, white sand and rolling blue waves have been entering my head already, so I bring to you my top ten beach getaway ideas:

At Tabacon Spa in Costa Rica
1) Costa Rica How does zip lining over waterfalls, soaking at a volcanic hot springs spa, while surfing and doing yoga everyday sound to you? If you're looking for adventure and a beach vacation, Costa Rica is the place. Book into a resort on the west coast like the Westin on Playa Conchal or the very posh Four Seasons Hotel in Papagayo. Give Tabacon Spa a google, it's located at the base of the active Arenal Volcano. Here are a few blog posts I've written on past trips to Costa Rica. You can even rent a massive villa with a few friends!

2) Key West, Florida - Walking into the waters of Key West is like walking into a warm sunny bath. It's perfect mix of small American beach town, with easygoing nightlife and restaurants. It's also the place to take a break from your car. Park it for the week, rent a bike and explore the city on two wheels. It's a very easy place to navigate and the cars usually stay under a 40 km/h speed limit. Did I mention all the delicious seafood and pink Florida shrimp? Nom! More blog posts on planning a visit to Key West here! Oh PS - don't miss the drag shows :)

Toronto Snow Show

By: Lisa Ng

Fall is in the air! Which means winter isn't far behind.

One of my new favourite things I learned in the past two years was how-to finally ski! If you're thinking of picking up a winter sport, this is a great activity that burns a TON of calories and let's you enjoy being outside.
The Toronto Snow Show is starting THIS weekend from Thursday October 16th to Sunday October 19th at The International Centre. It's a great place to check out new gear or buy used equipment at their ski + snowboard swap.

Admission Prices:

Adults (Age 18-64) $18.00
Juniors(Age 11-17) $10.00
Seniors (Age 65+) $10.00
Children (10 and under) Free with an Adult 

Visit for more info

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Taste from Platinum @ Café Boulud

By Wendy Kam Marcy

A sponsored hip + urban girl post.

My life is one big juggling act to say the least. By day I'm a VP of Marketing for an advertising tech company, at night I blog, and I'm a new mommy 24/7! One thing that hasn't changed in all this organized chaos is that I still make a point to go out at least twice a month -whether it's date night with hubby or catching up with the girls.

I love my Amex Platinum Card because it makes planning the perfect night out that much easier! I just ring up the Concierge (I've got them on speed dial!), tell them where I want to go and they take care of booking it.

The Taste from Platinum dining program allows you to make a reservation through the Concierge at restaurants like Montecito, The Chase, Colette, Patria, Westlodge, George, North 44, Splendido, Café Boulud and many more in Toronto. There are over 1,000 highly-acclaimed restaurants included in this program worldwide.

If I'm ever feeling indecisive, it's also great to have someone that can offer suggestions based on my location, budget and/or food preferences. This especially comes in handy when I'm traveling and not sure where the best places to eat are. Platinum Concierge is like having my own personal assistant anytime anywhere!

For this particular date night, Café Boulud at The Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville was recommended to us. It's a swanky place with great French inspired food that equally impressed my eyes and tastebuds.

It truly is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal and intimate dinner conversation, before continuing the night with drinks at the more lively d|bar downstairs.

We started the first course with a warm Artichoke Salad made with crispy sunchokes barigoule and dressed with black truffle vinaigrette.