Western Canada Trip: Vancouver, British Columbia

For the past two weeks, I’ve been travelling Western Canada. Over 14 days, my stops included Vancouver, Whistler, Banff, and Calgary. In the next couple of days, I’ll be sharing pictures from my vacation; a grand vacation of endless mountainous views and the spectacular Canadian Rockies – which stretches from Bow Valley to Jasper, Alberta.

But let me start in Vancouver, British Columbia – a lively, confident city with upscale shops, organic restaurants and a 22 km scenic seawall path.

You’ll get the best views on the Burrard Inlet waterfront, behind Canada Place, with an afternoon stroll through English Bay, or with a visit to the Harbour Centre and the Vancouver Lookout – a $16 dollar ticket will allow you all-day access.

But I love most about Vancouver? The view at sundown.


Cherry Blossom Season in Washington, DC

If you ever have a chance to visit the capital of the United States, you should schedule it around the cherry blossom season in Washington, DC.

I haven’t been lucky enough to be there in peak season; I’m usually too early or too late. But if you’re planning on going this year, the best dates are April 11-14.

You’ll also want to check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which is on now until the 12th. According to festival’s official website, “The date when the Yoshino cherry blossoms reach peak bloom varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions. The mean date of blooming is April 4, but nature is not always cooperative and the National Park Service horticulturists cannot make an accurate prediction much more than 10 days prior. The blooming period starts several days before the Peak Bloom Date and can last as long as 14 days; however, frost or high temperatures combined with wind and/or rain can shorten this period. See more information about the blooming period.”

The site also suggests visiting three key areas: the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, in East Potomac Park (Hains Point), and on the Washington Monument grounds.

I stuck to the Washington Monument grounds – and a heads up, it is very busy and very hot. Unlike the frosty temperatures of Toronto right now, you’ll want to pack a light jacket, t-shirts and possibly shorts if you’re lucky!

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Archie’s Girls by MAC

I adore Archie comics and MAC Cosmetics. So, imagine my surprise when the makeup company released Archie-inspired lip glosses, mascaras, and nail polishes around Valentine’s Day. My heart nearly stopped. Did I mention I’m also a sucker for limited edition lines? I usually want to buy up everything – classic compulsive spender, I suppose. But you know what, I am really pleased with these particular purchases. I love, love the “Pep Pep Pep” nail colour, and I also bought two lip glosses (Betty’s Summer Sweetheart and Veronica’s Feelin’ So Good), and the little coin purse.

One thing I will say about MAC, despite their high prices, it’s actually really great quality. Archie’s Girls by MAC has been my favourite limited edition line from MAC (so far), and I really hope they rerelease some of these products again – which they probably won’t.

NOTE: This post was first published in May 2013. It has since been updated with new photos. 

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I love MAC. And Archie comics.

Archie Mac Cosmetics

Welcome, March!

Happy March 1st, everyone!

I hope you had a great February — your Valentine’s Day was filled with love, family,  friends and chocolate (and more chocolate). Here’s to another month, hopefully complete with some milder temperatures and an exciting (or relaxing) MarchBreak.

“Turn over a new leaf.” – Kate Spade

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SWAK for Heart

Newmarket’s Upper Canada Mall is asking you to pucker up, kiss something, and hashtag it #SWAKForHeart.

The Sealed with a Kiss (SWAK) campaign runs from now until Valentine’s Day, and for every post shared to Twitter or Instagram, Upper Canada will donate $1 to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

February is Heart Month. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, heart disease and stroke takes one life every seven minutes and 90 per cent of Canadians have at least one risk factor.

If you’re looking for a fun Valentine’s colour, Upper Canada suggests: Russian Red, Ruby Woo, Lady Danger or Viva Glam by Miley Cyrus — you can find those at your local MAC Cosmetics store.

Personally, my favourites are Lady Danger (a classic, matte, retro orange-red), and Viva Glam by Miley Cyrus (bright, amplified creme, gloss-like pink).

Any other suggestions?