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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





GLOW GETTER | My TIFF Celebrity Facial with IMAGE Skincare

My Image Skincare O2 facial at the ready...

Anyone else notice that whilst on the red carpet, celebs always seem to carry an extra dose of glow? It can't just be the makeup, or the lighting, or the flattering reflection off the carpet itself. 'They must have something done,' I always mutter to myself as I sit on the couch watching the Emmys/Globes/Oscars, curtains sometimes drawn since I've probably put on a sheet mask at this point, often hugging my not-very-toned arms for comfort, always eating chips. And it's not just the women. The men always look like they've Benjamin Button-ed, too. I need their secret. I want in. 

And so, when the charming team at Charming Media invite me to TIFF to try out a celebrity red carpet treatment firsthand, I give a little fist pump and reply y-e-s. The first few weeks of school have all but destroyed any summer glow that I had so I neeeed this treatment. And there's a chance I might see Ryan Gosling. There's always that. 

I head up to a beautiful private suite at the very top of Trump Tower (you-know-who doesn't own it anymore btw) where Esthetics Plus has teamed up with Deadline Hollywood to provide spa treatments to TIFF's A-list talent to help them get red carpet ready. I'm given the choice between a Sunescape spray tan, NovaLash lash extensions or an IMAGE Skincare facial. I'm not big on spray tans, am super tempted by the idea of lash extensions, but decide that what I really need in my life right now is glowing skin. 

I'm told I just missed the Orphan Black girl as I lounge back and get ready for bliss. I've seen IMAGE Skincare products at Gee Beauty (one of my absolute fav spots in the 6ix) but have yet to try them out for myself. My esthetician tells me that IMAGE Skincare was created by a European plastic surgeon and is considered one of the most innovative skincare brands in the industry, with potent active ingredients that score results. As someone in her late-30's, I'm always looking for Results. And since I won't do Botox quite yet, I'm happy to invest in products that actually work. After looking at my skin, she decides on the O2 Lift Facial which uses oxygen, plant-derived technology and specially concentrated enzymatic botanicals to deliver instantly luminous, lifted skin. My oxygen facial (that red carpet secret I've been seeking) lasts about an hour but is so relaxing it feels like three. She massages and exfoliates my face, then puts on a mask that slowly, oh-so-awesomely sinks into my skin (see pic below) delivering O2 particles exactly where I need them. My dehydrated face takes it all in as my esthetician remarks that 'some people need it more than others.' Um, note to self: Must. Drink. More. Water. My stress level was close to a 9 when I walked in but I glide out at a solid 3. Maybe 2. I catch a glimpse of myself in the elevator on the way down and expect redness after the exfoliation but only see a pretty rush of colour in my cheeks. No downtime, no swelling - just calm, glowing skin. 

The week following my treatment, I'm given an IMAGE Skincare Post Treatment trial kit to keep my celeb glow going. My skin feels quite dry for the first few days post-treatment as it adjusts to all the attention, but then I notice that my skin looks healthier, plumped up, and I'd even saying glowing, even when I'm makeup-free. If only Ryan Gosling could see me now. Um, he might give me an autograph, right?

Want to try the products for yourself. Head to to find an IMAGE Skincare distributor near you. Scroll down for pics from my red carpet facial + see some of the celebs who tested out IMAGE Skincare during TIFF, including RG, of course :) 


You know your brand's made it when it has its own magazine...

Jason Sudeikis picks up some IMAGE Skincare products for his gorge wife, Olivia Wilde...

Anne Hathaway checks out IMAGE Skincare for the first time

John Legend. Wow, he really does have great skin, no?

Grace Van Patten takes home IMAGE Skincare

Ryan Gosling. Um sorry, where was I?

Dreaming of Ryan...sigh...  Oh wait, I mean my husband. Right, my husband...

My IMAGE Skincare post treatment kit keeps the glow going...


FALL SHOE REPORT | The Flats, Heels & Boots We Can't Even Wait to Wear

via Marc Fisher

Originally posted in The LOOK

The heart wants what it wants. And when it comes to shopping, my #1 love will always (and forever and ever) be shoes. Shoes are patient, shoes are kind, shoes won't judge you if you've gained an extra 5-10 patio pounds. Shoes are there to support you, to take you where you want to go and make you feel like a bae while you're getting there. My feet have had flings with everything from flats to four-inch heels but I always have a hard time picking a fave. I mean, isn't that what true love is all about? Acceptance, right?

And so, after years of trying to justify my love, I've accepted my fate as a true shoe addict. This fall, I plan on proving my love big-time. I'll pick up a new pair of black patent beauties to add some shine to my day-to-day - I'm currently torn between brogues and ankle boots. I'll go for many long (ideally 10,000-step) romantic walks in new lace-up kicks (I'm thinking red this year). And, of course, super sexy heels are a must for date nights. Meanwhile, this week's piece in Vogue has me contemplating the need for a pair of practical stompers (aka - cocktail boots) that I'll wear to both hikes and hot-ticket parties. If you can believe it, THE shoe of the season (currently sold out & waitlisted everywhere in the States) is Birkenstock's Boston clog. Hmmm. My credit card and I have come to terms with the fact that we'll be investing in shoes for a lifetime. And that's one long-term commitment we're totally willing to make.

I can't feel my face when I'm with shoes. But I love it. I love it. 





Zoolander 2 is Happening

via Maison Valentino on Instagram

It's been 14 years since we first met the ridiculously good-looking Derek Zoolander and his model nemesis, Hansel. 14 years since Zoolander learned to turn left. While I've always hoped for a rematch, I never thought the duelling male supermodels would ever come to terms on a sequel. At the Valentino show at Paris Fashion Week this morning, the boys finally confirmed it, strutting it on the runway for a crowd of uncharacteristically giddy editors. Paramount further confirmed that the yet-to-be-named 'Zoolander 2' will be released February 12, 2016. So, so exciting! I. can't. even.

Seems fitting that Zoolander made its comeback on the Valentino runway. Have you ever seen Valentino Garavani? Seriously, have you ever seen a better Blue Steel? 


JUMP AROUND | 3 Ways to Wear a One-Piece

Lara Stone does city girl chic in her white overalls. via H&M

Originally posted in The CLOSET

There's dressing for men and then there's dressing for ourselves. My husband's list of fashion 'likes' reads like a Victoria's Secret catalogue, and it goes a little something like this: 

  • Things that lace up = good
  • Things that tie up = good
  • Tight workout pants = good
  • Tops that "accidentally" fall off shoulders = good
  • Cleavage = good 

Predictable, right? But he's not alone. I've met few straight men who would pick SJP over Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth over Gisele, Maggie Gyllenhaal over Megan Fox. Meanwhile, fashion girls collectively lose their minds when Emma Stone, Tilda Swinton or Cate Blanchett hit the red carpet because they dress for the love of clothes, not for the cleavage they can bust out. 

I'm perpetually torn between the two camps. I hold this sexpot superhero power over my bae when I throw on strappy heels, a little black dress and bombshell waves. Kachow! He has no idea why but suddenly he goes all zombie-like, holding doors open for me and offering to make me caipirinhas. Still, I love dressing up like Jenna Lyons with my buttoned-up men's shirt, culottes & New Balance kicks. Girls love it. Guys literally walk right past me. Except when I put on a pair of big geek glasses. Then it turns into a hot teacher/librarian thing. Guys like that. 

The one-piece jumpsuit is inherently divisive. While most women would love to try out overalls or a denim jumpsuit, they avoid them because they know how much men hate them. So, I've put together 3 one-piece looks for you to try out this spring anyway. Fitted black overalls worn with a tee or white blouse and heels is undeniably cute. An Emma Stone-like evening jumpsuit is unpredictably sexy. And as for the denim jumpsuit? Not sure about men (okay fine, pretty sure they'll hate it) but I can guarantee that fellow fashion girls will swoon. And here's the thing: sometimes a girl's just gotta look after #1.