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FULL STOP | Unwind with the Meditation & Rejuvenation Retreat at the Hazelton Hotel

You know the feeling. That feeling on that first true day of spring where you can finally leave your house with no jacket on. That feeling when you realize how much effort you've been putting into just surviving the winter for the past 6 months, where your shoulders finally drop from your earlobes for the first time in ages as you soak in those first glorious rays of sun. It's that feeling where you realize just how much you missed that feeling and didn't know how badly you needed it back. The Hazelton Hotel has this feeling all figured out. 

I was invited to The Hazelton Hotel to experience their new Meditation & Rejuvenation package earlier this week and (way-too-eagerly-to-be-cool) rsvp'd yes, please. I've been stressed lately (work, kids, the world, life) so unwinding sounds like just the thing I need. The Yabu Pushelberg-designed hotel, if you've never been, is currently sitting comfortably atop the city's luxe list. It's perfectly small (77 rooms) and beautiful and refined and Justin Bieber stays here when he's in town, so there's that. But also, the place itself is just SO. From the dim lighting to the plush carpets, from the way the concierge greets you in an eager-to-please in the most pleasing possible way to that perfect mix of modern and classic design - the Hazelton Hotel has already got it all just right. The "Meditation & Rejuvenation" package, which I'm about to try out in a morning press party, is taking it next level, if that's even possible. I'm led upstairs to a suite full of eager (but not too eager, natch) editors and influencers and otherwise ready-to-zen women. We start slow. 


Our experience begins with a morning meditation session led by Reiki Master and lululemon Ambassador, Tara Good. I speak with Tara briefly before our session and she is as calm, composed and chill as they come - I am certain she never gets distracted by her smartphone. Lucky guests who come for the Meditation & Rejuvenation Retreat at The Hazelton Hotel score an hour of this zen goddess' expertise in the comfort of their own room, during which time they will learn to breathe fully, disconnect deeply and leave their daily stresses behind.

“Mindfulness studies have increased in recent years,” says Hani Roustom, General Manager of the Hazelton Hotel, “many people seek to find the same inner peace while away as they do while at home. The Hazelton Hotel is proud to partner with leaders in the mindfulness and wellness space, like lululemon ambassador Tara Good, to bring mediation and rejuvenation to our guests allowing them to experience the same inner peace and tranquility during their stay as they strive for in their daily lives.” 

 As someone who has never meditated, I can't tell you exactly what we do in those 10 minutes. What I do know is that we close our eyes, engage in simple breathing exercises, listen to some soothing words about mindfulness, and when I open my eyes again, I feel like she's added an extra 6 months to my life. At least. No, I will go on record to say that Tara Good added a solid year to my life. This is precisely how I will justify bi-annual weekends away at the Hazelton Hotel from now on. There is no arguing with habits that increase lifespan, right? OM-azing. 

Blame the blurry pic on my state of zen. Seriously. 


An early morning meditation calls for a healthy breakfast to keep the zen flowing. We're treated to a beautiful breakfast by the Hazelton Hotel's ONE Restaurant, brought to life today by chef Darby Piquette. He explains the importance of food designed to taste as good as it looks, featuring bold colours and incredibly robust flavours. Chef Darby and Chef Marc McEwan will change the menu regularly (because no one would ever want to stop their creative juices from flowing), but guests can always expect supremely healthy dishes loaded with freshness and flavour, plus fresh cold-pressed juices made daily at the Village Juicery with recipes provided by ONE. I sampled everything from fresh fruit and muffins to homemade hummus and tuna poke bowls, but it was the smoothie bowl that fully blew my mind. 

The Best. Smoothie. Bowl. I've. Ever. Tasted. 


No Meditation & Rejuvenation Retreat would ever be complete without a trip to the spa to fully unwind. The Spa at the Hazelton by Valmont feels like a revelation if you've never been - it's cozy and exclusive and chic, and feels like exactly the kind of sanctuary you'd want to visit if you were Beyonce and had paparazzi lurking outside. I currently have no paparazzi waiting for me but if I did, yes, this is exactly where I'd go. We take a tour of the spa, and check out the ultra-pretty and private hotel pool plus the refined treatment rooms. We then head to the 'boudoir' where we test out some of the key products by innovative Swiss brand, Valmont. The Valmont facial is often touted as the gold standard of facials and we learn about the science behind all of the hype, including Valmont's use of primitive collagen in its products. 

“Our facials not only nourish and improve the appearance of skin,” notes Fabienne Sebaoun, Marketing Manager, Valmont Canada, “but also allow guests to unwind and de-stress, which is critical for finding balance, feeling rejuvenated and for their overall well-being.”

I can't help myself - I book myself in for a hydrating facial the very next day where I'm scrubbed and steamed into a state of ultimate zen. As I glide out of The Hazelton Hotel, shoulders noticeably relaxed, deeply breathing in the warm spring air, with a Valmont glow I can't help but check out in the lobby mirror, I can feel the last of my worries slip away...


The “Meditation and Rejuvenation” package for two is now available for $950.00 CAD plus applicable taxes per night for an executive suite and includes the following:
·         A meditation practice led by lululemon ambassador Tara Good;
·        Wellness breakfast for two created by celebrity chef Mark McEwan of ONE restaurant;
·         A signature rejuvenating facial at the exclusive Valmont Spa
·         Personal shopping “fit session” at lululemon Cumberland store location

For more information or to make reservations, please call 416-963-6300 or book online by clicking ‘Reservations’ at





SPRING IN YOUR STEP | 40 Fun Spring Shoe Picks

TOPSHOP Flowers at your feet from Hudson's Bay

Originally posted in The CLOSET

Okay, so most of us don't really need new shoes. If we're lucky, we probably bought a pair or 2 (or 10, who's counting? It wasn't me...), last year. But here's the thing: shoe love, as they say, is true love. Barring injuries or pregnancy, shoes always fit. You may have hibernated all winter enjoying a steady stream of beer, poutine and Netflix and yet somehow, last year's shoes still fit. Magical. So like I said, we don't really need new shoes.

But here's the thing: shoes are incredibly important and thus, justifiable. Our feet are what keep us grounded. They get us from A to B and back again. We walk 10,000 steps in the pairs we wear and we literally cannot leave home without them. Unless you're a yoga instructor who teaches beach yoga. Otherwise, you cannot leave home without them. And casting needs aside, there's that emotional well-being part of us that we need to nurture. With a world in turmoil, shoes have this amazing ability to make us feel good. And so, while you might not technically need new shoes, you can't be blamed for wanting more. 

Speaking of wants, Spring '17 has some seriously cute shoes that have caught my attention. They all get the job done but the focus is on the fun. Block heels and slip-on loafers will help you look right up-to-date, while metallics, florals and beautiful brights will make any basic outfit bananas (in a good way)...




TRANSITIONAL DRESSING 101 | How to Look Spring-Ready Right Now


Originally posted in The Fashion Scoop

Each year, Canadians can always count on certain sure signs that winter's on its way out. Whether it's that first crocus popping out of your garden or that dude who rocks shorts and sandals on the first warm day of the year, it's easy to tell when the warm weather's almost here. Emphasis on the almost. Spring likes to tease us with its flashes of sun and double digits one day, then wallop us with snow the next. Sure, dressing is a little tricky this time of year, but that shouldn't stop you from wearing your spring things now. I'm not going to wait for the weather to make up its mind - after all, my mind's already made up. I'm in love with all of the brights and florals and whites that signal the start of the warm season. Luckily, we don't have to wait any longer to wear this season's freshest finds - simply mix your winter and spring pieces to make transitional dressing a total breeze. Read on for how to look spring-ready right now...




BABY YOU'RE SO CLASSIC | The Freshest Ways to Wear Your Old Favourites This Spring

Cutest. Shirt. Ever. via H&M

Originally posted in The CLOSET

Like a great old friend, classics are the best. You can part ways for awhile and do your own thing, but when you come back together, it feels like no time has passed at all. You share a history that's hard to replicate. You get each other.  Somehow it always just feels right.  Like people, classics evolve in their own small ways but they tend to stay true to what made them so great in the first place.

This spring, your old stand-bys have come back to play, only this time, they're updated to feel totes 2017. Here are some of our fave classic go-tos:

1. CULOTTES | Culottes keep coming back but now, they're available in loads of interesting fabrics and textures like pinstripes and faux leather, and are amazingly versatile - work to weekend is as simple as a shoe change.  Cropped, wide-leg jeans give off a similar vibe and are perfect for wearing with ankle boots while you wait for the warm weather to get here already. 

2. THE WHITE SHIRT | There isn't another piece more universally-flattering, more wardrobe-elevating and more go-with-everything than a great white shirt.  This season, the white shirt stays true to its roots but adds a decidedly 2017 twist with statement sleeves. 

3. STRIPES | Every single spring, you can count on stripes to be on every top trend list. While one usually thinks of nautical when shopping for stripes, this year, it's time to go for something a little less obvious. If you read between the lines (which I hope you do), I'm talking multi-toned striped dresses, vertical striped wide leg pants and flowy striped statement tunics that look more landlubbing than seafaring. 

4. GINGHAM | Gingham screams picnics and pretty weather and the innocence of youth. While I'll never say no to a pair of cute checked pants, I'm especially tempted by some of the fresh gingham finds I'm seeing in stores now. This spring, try a fun patchwork gingham shirt or a flirty cold-shoulder dress - pretty sure they'll be your new BFF's ;)

Happy, happy spring! Serious outfit inspo below...




LIKE A BOSS | 12 Spring Upgrades Your Work Wardrobe Will Love

via whatweworeblog on Instagram

Originally posted in The Fashion Scoop

Girl bosses used to dress like men to get the respect they deserved, often with mixed results. Pants. Obviously yes. Shoulder pads? Mmmmnot so much.  As a proud girl boss, let me say that I have managed to build my own business, work on my own terms and continue to set goals that my 7 year-old self would have been proud of, and I've done it all in pink. This spring, a killer work wardrobe is all about harnessing your fashion power to make your 9-to-5 grind more fun. It's about taking charge of the season's top trends and making them work for you. And of course, it's about shoe shopping because let's face it: when is it not about shoe shopping? 

Read on for 12 spring upgrades your work wardrobe is going to love. Now all you've gotta do is werk it...