Category: Family

Fun For the Entire Family at Westin Blue Mountain #WinterWarrior

Winter vacations are some of the most fun and thrilling experiences you can have as a family. They are a time for new adventures and venturing out of your comfort zone. Just North of Toronto you can find all this and more at Blue Mountain! And the perfect place to stay while you play? The Westin Blue Mountain.


Last week, my family and I ventured the two hours North of Toronto to Collingwood (talk about a beautiful drive up there) to test the hills and see the beauty of Blue Mountain during the winter months. We had always been hesitant of a winter family ski vacation because of our children being so young but I was pleasantly surprised to see so many young children on the hills and in the village (putting my skills to shame that is for sure!).


We checked in at Westin Blue Mountain and what a beautiful sight it was! Standing tall and prominent against the hills and village of Blue Mountain, Westin Blue Mountain made us feel like we had escaped to another country.

We stayed in a large two bedroom suite that came with a complete kitchen, two bathrooms, balcony and stunning views from each room overlooking the pond and village. It became habit for me to open the curtains wide right around the living room so that we could enjoy the panoramic view of the village, hills, pool and pond.


The interior of our room was stunning. The suite had a dining room table and the kitchen came with all the utensils and appliances you would need to cook during your stay. The large windows give a light and airy feel to the rooms while instantly connecting you with the outdoors and Blue Mountain village. It was awesome to stand at the window and watch the village wake up as well as watch the night life!


One of the best features of the room? The bathroom! I could have lived in the shower alone – the shower head was incredible and felt like you were standing outside in a light rain shower. It was calming and soothing – the perfect way to relax both in the morning and evening.


The Westin Blue Mountain features:

  • outdoor pool and hot tub (an incredible, must experience activity!)
  • fitness studio
  • Kids Club (with mini arcade and play room)
  • New Balance gear lending
  • Westin Well Being
  • In Room Spa services
  • Dining in the hotel at Oliver and Bonacini
  • pet friendly hotel
  • valet services
  • ski concierge

The hotel also has close access to Plunge Aquatic Centre and Le Scandinave Spa.

And the staff? Incredible! I have never been to a hotel where the staff were so helpful and happy. If we became lost or unsure there was always a staff member to help us out. Several staff members that greeted us on our first day were around for our last day and remembered us which was such a nice surprise. The amazing staff really helped make our stay perfect.


The Westin Blue Mountain hotel is the perfect place to spend your Blue Mountain family vacation. Watch out this week on the blog for more Blue Mountain fun including: Family Activities, Dining at Blue and Le Scandinave Spa.

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Keep the Laughter Coming This Winter Season with #Netflix #StreamTeam

Brrrr!! It is getting cold outside – this morning was a chilly -21C with the wind chill! I honestly did not want to get out of bed it was so cold. But here I am up and working away even though all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and a great movie playing.

With the temperature drop there seems to always come the rise of cold and flu symptoms which tend to peak in these early months, trend off and start up again near the end of the winter. Last week I was under the weather with a gastro bug for two days. For two days I was pampered by my boys and was able to watch all of my favourite comedies on Netflix (okay in honesty only the second part is true – I like to imagine my boys were pampering me!).

I love my cartoons – the animated movies that they are producing are incredible with humour that both adults and children alike can appreciate. Those two days were spent watching all of my favourite animated comedies and laughing my way back to health. My two favourite movies of all time have to be Despicable Me (love those minions!!) and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I can’t even begin to count how many times we have watched these movies but they are just as funny each and every time (Bee Do Bee Do Bee Do….).

Laughter is so important for all of us (and too often we are not spending enough time laughing and bonding with the ones we love) so we should always make time to do the things we love together, watch funny movies together and just be plain old silly.

Don’t believe me? Research has shown that laughter is important for:

  • laughter boosts the immune system
  • laughter triggers the release of endorphins (remember those natural feel good hormones in your body, yep those ones!)
  • increase blood flow which in turn helps the heart
  • decreases stress
  • improves mood
  • strengthens relationships

Do you have a go to movie for the winter months when you and the family are stuck in bed unwell? Or maybe not unwell but just want to spend the day in bed getting cuddles from the little ones (how I miss those days!!).

Disclosure: I am a Netflix StreamTeam member and receive perks. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The #FallMarketplace at Walmart: Full of #BrightIdeas to Make Fall Cleaning a Snap! #shop

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

This holiday long weekend flew by at lightning speed! Not only did we celebrate Thanksgiving with our families but it was also my birthday (woot woot!!). We had so much to prepare for these occasions; purchasing meals, appetizers, reservations and the dreaded cleaning. On Friday, we headed into the #FallMarketplace demonstrations at Walmart (as part of the #CollectiveBias shop) and checked out the Fall Cleaning demo that featured Scrubbing Bubbles T-Gels.

Fall cleaning is one of my least favourite things to do – especially when it comes to the bathrooms! I live with three boys and somehow no matter what I do the toilet is never as clean as I wish it would be. It probably doesn’t help that our youngest likes to help clean the toilet by peeing around the rim (his exact explanation when I caught him doing this!!).

I don’t know about you but I honestly feel that the bathroom happens to be the one room that says a lot about your home. When I know that company is coming over I want my bathroom to look and smell fresh (without having to spend hours achieving this look!). At the demo on Friday we were able to smell and check out the Scrubbing Bubbles T-Gels in: Mountain Morning, Glade Rain shower and Citrus with Hydrogen Peroxide.We loved the smells so much we picked up all three scents.

We decided to match the scent of the toilet cleaning gel to our plug in air freshener and started with the citrus with hydrogen peroxide. I have never used T-Gels before so I was quite pleased to see how easy to assemble they were and how compact the kit was. It was literally pull the two pieces out of the box and connect them together and I was done. All that was left was to  gently apply the T-Gel to the side of the toilet and with every flush the toilet is cleansed and a pleasant citrus smell remains.

The best part? The T-Gels can last up to six weeks! That refreshing smell from the toilet is still going strong after applying it on the Friday evening. Not to mention our youngest things it is super cool to have this green thing stuck on the inside of the toilet.

With our bathroom taken care of with Scrubbing Bubbles, we were able to forget about the cleaning and focus on the important stuff – family time! We baked chocolate cupcakes, painted pumpkins to give as gifts, made special hand print keepsakes for family members and not to mention the cooking. I still feel like I am detoxing from all the delicious food we had all weekend. It was well worth every moment – the love and happiness that we shared are memories that will last forever.

How do you make fall cleaning easy so that you can focus on the important holiday events?

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Get Ready for the #FallMarketplace Demos at #Walmart #shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.


Fall is here and with it brings my two favourite holidays of the year – Thanksgiving and Halloween (I may be biased since my birthday does fall on Thanksgiving every year!).

In honour of the holidays, Walmart is hosting #FallMarketplace demos in stores on October 10th and 11th from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm to help introduce shoppers to new and familiar brands and products to make the holiday season easier for you as a family. The holidays can be stressful enough as it is so why not take advantage of all Walmart has to offer!

Walmart will be hosting four different cart demos:

  • Cart One: Fall meals with vendors Maple Leaf and Reckitt. Features Maple Leaf Prime Frozen chicken breasts and Reckitt French’s Honey Mustard.
  • Cart Two: Thanksgiving entertaining and leftovers featuring Our Finest & Your Fresh Market and Hamburger helper.
  • Cart Three: Fall snacking featuring Mondelez Wheat Thins Popped and Walmart Fresh baby carrots.
  • Cart Four: Fall cleaning featuring SC Johnson products including Scrubbing Bubbles T-Gels Citrus, T-Gels Fresh Mountain Morning and T-Gels Glade Rainshower.

We are heading in this Friday to check out the carts as part of #CollectiveBias and will be sharing with you all the fun details (so watch that #FallMarketplace hash tag on Friday and for my post that will be up on the 14th!). If you want to head in make sure to check the complete list of stores here. All demo offerings will be until supplies last.

Don’t forget!

Yours truly is co-hosting the #FallMarketplace twitter party coming up tomorrow night at 8:00 pm EST. You can find all the important info (don’t forget to RSVP!) on my twitter party post here. Can’t wait to chat with you tomorrow!

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Keeping Groceries in Track with the Longos Mobile App #cbias

I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

What is the number one item you have on you at all times? If you are anything like me it is your smart phone. My smart phone has mobile apps that keep track of my appointments, connect me to work, remind me of important dates and keep track of my to do lists. This is crucial for me. Our day to day life is constantly on the go and without my mobile apps I would be lost. One of the hardest things to keep track of? Groceries! Between school lunches and soccer practices by mid week our pantry begins to look bare. With the Longos mobile app I am able to add items to my grocery list as I notice they go missing – no more waiting to get home and add it to the list on the fridge (which never seems to remain on the fridge for very long?!).

Grocery items count for the largest expenditure in our variable budget in our house so I always like to make sure I am not only getting the best deal but not double purchasing items, letting produce go to waste or making frequent trips to the grocery store. In the past I used to go to the trouble of waiting for my flyers to come in the mail, making a written list and then combining that with my written running list that I kept on my fridge (if it wasn’t lost somewhere along the way!). I spent a lot of time doing this and half the time I would forget items.

The Longos Mobile App (which is free!) allowed me to browse all categories that they carry in store (from bakery to cleaning to vitamins!) at my own convenience through my smart phone. This meant I could browse and add items from my desk at work (where I usually remember forgotten grocery items and then subsequently forget them again), at the soccer field, waiting to pick my kids up from school – I was no longer tied to writing my lists down at home. Each item also shows it’s current or sale price and a rating from other customers. I was even able to scan my products at home to see whether or not my local Longos carried them – which I may or may not have had a lot of fun scanning multiple items in our house! If you still love paper you can even email yourself a copy of the list to print out and bring in store with you. You can also connect your Thank You Rewards card to maximize in store savings.

I could now head out to Longos as part of the #CollectiveBias campaign at my own convenience with my handy list on my mobile app. All I had to bring was my purse, myself and with two kids in tow trust me this was to our advantage!

I was able to hand off my mobile list to my kids who were then in charge of ensuring we picked up every item on our list. Our youngest (who is not old enough to read) loved that he could still take part as the list is partially visual with a picture of the item so he was able to pick out items based on this (don’t you just love little shoppers?!!). This actually improved our overall shopping experience as I am sure many of you can relate to – shopping with children can be a nightmare unless they really feel involved.

Having a mobile list to compare prices to and quickly scan through actually sped up the whole shopping process. We were able to easily identify the items we needed, confirm the price and move on. It almost turned into a game for the kiddies.

Just like that we had a successful shopping trip! Every item on our list was picked up and then removed from our list, the boys thought it was the most incredible game ever, snacks for school lunches were picked up as well as some for Mom and Dad – success!

What kind of strategies do you use at home to keep track of groceries? Would mobile apps fit into your life easier?

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