News Category Archives

Winners for Thomas Sabo!


Hi everyone!


I’d like to thank you for your patience regarding the Thomas Sabo contest.  The ice storm really interrupted a lot of my plans for the holidays!  Without further ado, after using random. org, here are the 2 winners:




Please email your mailing address to and I will mail you your prize!

Thanks for entering everyone!

Happy Holidays this is not an emergency #darkTO #icestormTO

Saturday, December 21st 2013 will be a day I won’t forget. Not because it was the last weekend before Christmas and I was trying to run around and get last minute shopping done.  Not because I was going to use the next day (and my only day off from my seasonal job) grocery shopping and cleaning like a mad woman.


Nope.  Saturday was the day the lights went out in Guildwood (my neighborhood).  21:53 or 9:53pm is the timestamp in my mind when the lights flickered and turned off.  My first thought? Bummer, no Saturday Night Live Christmas special oh well, I’ll google that in the morning for the funny parts.


Except the lights didn’t come on in the morning, or the next morning, or the morning after that.  I later learned that an ice storm covering most of Ontario had left ice covered trees, snapped branches, and downed power lines.  Via Twitter I learned that officials to include the Mayor of Toronto (Rob Ford), the premier (Kathleen Wynn), and ward councilors (Paul Ainslie and Mitzie Hunter) knew the situation was becoming quite the mess….and with temperatures due to plummet over the next several days, a press conference was held (one of several) as the Mayor declared “We are not in a state of emergency. Everything that can be done is being done.”  We were asked to check on our neighbors and that getting power restored in 72 hours “won’t be possible folks.  Things have gotten better.”


Not sure how these officials thought residents without hydro would know this-especially in a ‘senior-ific’ area like Guildwood.  Not many residents here own a smartphone so they didn’t know that power could potentially take days to restore, or that there were warming centres available to them.  Many residents bundled up, threw on an extra blanket or 3 and probably thought “Hey we will laugh about this when it’s over tomorrow.”


Well. For some, it’s NOT over.  Some residents of Guildwood are now 90 hours strong with no hydro.  NONE.   Merry Christmas taxpayers who have worked their entire lives and are just trying to live.  But never fear, This is not an emergency.


I’ll spare you the details….but to fill in some gaps, Toronto Hydro called in additional help from other cities in Canada and the U.S.  I’ll give them that-at least they realized they were overwhelmed.  But here’s where things go sideways:


  1. Additional bodies were brought in-but 5 days of no hydro?
  2. Officials/Leadership did travel the neighborhoods. In suits. For photo ops.
  3. Hydro workers picked up and left an area of Guildwood, leaving several homes without power stating that another area was ‘higher priority’-WHAT?


Gee Mitzie Hunter you sure look warm, mind sparing a coat with that handshake?

Gee Mitzie Hunter you sure look warm, mind sparing a coat with that handshake?

Because EVERYONE who is ANYONE wears a suit to a clean up area.  AND DOES NO WORK.

Because EVERYONE WHO IS ANYONE shows up to a worksite IN A SUIT. AND DOES NOTHING.


oh wow….do you think this merry group sang Christmas carols?  When do you think they’re dropping their next album?

recently added: And let’s not  forget Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly…..who TOOK OFF FOR FLORIDA IN THE MIDDLE OF IT ALL.  For that reason, no photos available.  Did you think we wouldn’t find out about this Norm? REALLY?

Now, I’m no ‘crisis management expert’ BUT I would think that a contingency plan in a metropolis of this size would be an essential piece of an inclement weather puzzle? Toronto’s “leadership” has failed its residents. On SO. MANY. LEVELS.   During the holidays.  Even worse.   Let me continue:


  1. Warming Centres aren’t appropriate for everyone-what about people with dogs? How about newborns or elderly with fragile immune systems that shouldn’t be exposed to large numbers of people?
  2. How did people who don’t speak English know about the tragedy? Oh wait, they were the ones being carted off to hospital after trying to heat their homes with a BBQ and becoming consumed with carbon monoxide.


In addition, there were reports of homes being burglarized, which is (again) MORE tragic during the ‘holiday season.’  No police presence….but that’s because THIS IS NOT AN EMERGENCY.


This incident continues to have many residents of Guildwood scratching their heads and wondering “What have I done to deserve this?”  Toronto’s ‘leadership’ do you have an answer?


I know (here) I am primarily speaking for Guildwood  but I’ll open this up to anyone who had to endure this. I need some answers.   I need officials and leadership to take accountability and to sincerely and humbly apologize to residents for the gross mishandling.


just a note-the people sitting in the dark and freezing cold voted you into your seats ward councilors Ainslie and Hunter, Premier Wynn, and Mayor Ford. So before you tweet me talking about everything you’ve done in this disaster Mitzie, stop for a moment and think about that. Also think twice before you send me a tweet from your nice warm home.

 EDIT:  Residents have told me that Paul Ainslie has been out in the neighborhood and remained very ‘present’ during this incident and have asked me to remove his name in negative connotations.  Neighbors-noted and done.

You also owe your residents a thorough and comprehensive debrief….you know one of those ones where everyone gathers in an auditorium and there are 2 microphones in the crowd space and you all sit up at the front behind a long table.  Because you can’t seem to figure this one out, I’ll do you a solid-Here’s who needs to be there:

1.  Mayor Rob Ford

2. Premier Kathleen Wynn

3. Anthony Haines, CEO Toronto Power

4. Mitzie Hunter

5. Paul Ainslie

6. Norm Kelly who ran off to Florida

7. News anchors and cameramen

8.  People of Guildwood-and they need to be given a way to get there-get a bus, you ARE able to do that.

And you have to be prepared and accept ALLLLLLL of our criticism and anger AND frustration with grace.  And THEN you have to present us with a real gift…..a PLAN.  One that you put some thought into and that you’ve had reviewed with an organization that specializes in crisis management.


I’m all for history not repeating itself and I know that mistakes get made.  It’s time for Leadership to give a d*mn and for residents to demand that basic and common respect.  Residents are the reason that officials are in office and it’s time to send a very clear message. I’m challenging Toronto’s officials and leaders to start caring and propose this be a new initiative (although it should’ve been all along).


This has been a very memorable holiday season indeed.


Canadian Giveaway-Charm up with Thomas Sabo!

I love love LOVE when I can give back to my readers.   I was gifted (from Thomas Sabo) with a recipe book, apron and cookie cutters so I got right to work making Lucy’s Chocolate cookies in the shapes of hearts, stars, and stilettos!

The star of this show is Lucy….

“Do you love spending an evening baking with your friends during the Christmas season like Lucy does? Then put your apron and get going! Lucy has summarized her favorite recipes for you, so you will be able to make dreamy Charm Club cookies.  Lend the cookies-in the shape of romanyic hearts, Christmas stars and fashionable high-heels-a personal note with a sweet embellishment.  There are simply no limits to your creativity and imagination.”

So let’s take a peek!!

photo 1

photo 2photo 4photo 5

woohoo!!! yum yum yummmmmmmm.

But it gets better…..Faulhaber Communications (on behalf of Thomas Sabo) has gifted me 2 fabulous Thomas Sabo bracelets to gift to 2 subscribers.  Here’s what you COULD win:

IMG_3513And a photo of each bracelet up close:


IMG_3515These bracelets are valued at over 100.00 CAD each!

To enter:

Fill out the Rafflecopter widget below-it’s simple this time!

This giveaway is open to Canadians only!

If under 18 years of age, need your parent’s permission

Must be willing to provide address if chosen as winner

I am not responsible for packages lost in the mail (although I ship as securely as I can!)

2 winners will be chosen-you will each receive (1) bracelet!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AR 35 treatment from Dermalogica-reveal your best looking skin!

*I am in the process of editing 2 photos for this post…stay tuned and sorry for any inconvenience*

It’s been awhile since I’ve experienced a treatment with Dermalogica.  I was excited to try out the new AR 35 treatment and it was SO GOOD that I need to tell you about it. Keep reading!

AR35 stands for Active Resurface 35 and Dermalogica states that ‘this is not a cookie cutter treatment.’  And I would have to agree…..AR35 is an advanced 45 minute resurfacing treatment that utilizes a synergy of the most active ingredients available in today’s skin care arena.

A 45 minute advanced skin exfoliation treatment with a focus on professional use only Exfoliant Accelerator 35.
• Includes customizable options
• Key benefits of Active Resurface 35:
-Visible results after one treatment
-Minimal redness/side effects post treatment
-Targets a range of skincare concerns
-45min ideal for time sensitive clients

key ingredients include:

There’s a reason that this treatment is professional use only and you will feel that as you go through the treatment.  There is a definitely tingling and some heat (oh yeah it’s working!).  The skin therapist will determine the level of activity after a consultation and having a look at your skin. There are 3 treatment levels:

• Power Active
• Intensive Active
• Ultimate Active

After my treatment, my skin therapist (Amanda) applied an oatmeal mask to help soothe my skin. Post treatment, no intense cardio, steam rooms or saunas and you MUST use an SPF!  Thankfully, I use the SPF daily and don’t plan on using steam/sauna anytime soon.

Amanda also had a post treatment discussion with me and sent me home with some products that I promised I would use faithfully. Let’s just say I have a new ‘plan’ in terms of exfoliation and care of my skin…….


My skin looks and feels divine.  It feels like my skin is in my 20’s again, it’s bright, soft, smooth and taut…..I haven’t experienced that in the longest time. I didn’t leave the treatment oily or greasy (which was a huge plus because I had some other appointments that day) and my face felt incredibly clean.  I’m looking forward to having this done again, perhaps in the later part of January.  It was totally worth it…..and if you have 45 minutes and want your ‘best’ skin, find a spa/salon near you that offers this treatment!

12 days of beauty contest WINNER!!!!

Oh you readers are SO AWESOME!!! I need to be awesome back!

I didn’t have too many entries to the contest but that’s okay….there are move giveaways to come!  So let me post the photos and then I will tell you who the winner is! In case you don’t remember, I asked entrants to send me a photo of WHY they needed the box of health and beauty items….and here’s what they came up with:


Patricia's photo!

Patricia’s photo!


Denyse's photo

Denyse’s photo


Carolyn's photo

Carolyn’s photo


Cynthia's photo

Cynthia’s photo


I want to thank everyone who took the time to send me a photo and explain to me why I need to give them the box!  I love all the photos!

The winner of the actual box is ……….Patricia!  Could you please send me your address so I can have P&G ship you the box of items!

To everyone that entered…..I so appreciate you taking the time to enter that I’d like to send ALL of you a little something!  Could you please send me your addresses as well?


Please send to

Prizes will *not* arrive by Christmas but I will ship out as soon as I can.  Again, thank you so much for entering….I truly truly appreciate you all!

Stay tuned for my next giveaway!




Influenster Maple Vox Box!

Imagine my surprise when I saw an Influenster box sticking out of my mailbox. Sure I filled out the survey but really and truly did NOT expect to receive one!

That being said:

*This post contains products sent for review-Opinions are my own!*


I’m sure you can tell just by looking which products I tore into first…and no, not the skinny cow (although I am enjoying the dreamy clusters right now. So long diet!)

Since this was my first box (and I don’t have anything to compare it to), I was quite happy with the contents.  The box includes a product description card with suggested CAD retail prices.

I’ll have separate reviews on the N.Y.C. products but will say that one of the products I enjoyed and one was just meh.

The skinny cow dreamy clusters were in fact quite delicious…..I could’ve eaten about 300 more!  I see those in my shopping cart in the very near future.

I have yet to try the fabric mask but have heard very good things about Montagne Jeunesse (although this company neglected to invite me to their launch in Toronto, so I have a bad taste in my mouth about that).

Icebreakers have  made it into my purse.  I like the fruit/mint combination. It’s refreshing and not ‘heavy.’

The imPRESS nails are great-had them before but generally my nails are done when I go out (and again, another company that neglected to invite me to their launch in Toronto).

Generally speaking, I think this was a decent box (especially for the price of zero dollars).  I did see one person describe it as ‘craptastic’ which in my opinion is a bit harsh but to each his/her own, I guess.


Check out and sign up for influenster here.

CND Vinylux-the Forbidden collection

*This post contains products sent for review.  I like to state this first out of respect for my readers. This does not change my opinion of the products.*

Nail polish and I do not get along and haven’t for a long time.  It baffles me to this day how anyone can keep a manicure past 1 hour because I sure can’t.  I don’t consider myself ‘rough’ on my nails either.

I was excited to try CND’s Vinylux, which boasts an impressive one week long wear.


When applied with CND Vinylux Topcoat, Vinylux shades lasts for a week on the nails. Vinylux is a simple two step process that requires no base coat and is applied like regular polish. First, apply 2 layers of colour then apply Vinylux Topcoat. With natural light exposure the Vinylux Topcoat gets more durable resulting in a week long manicure.


Clean nails with ScrubFresh (which I don’t have but did scrub my nails and wipe them dry thoroughly).

Apply 2 coats of Vinylux Weekly Polish.

Finish with 1 coat of weekly top coat.


This did not work for me as instructed…..and I found out that I was not the only person who had this issue.

check this post out for some up close photos.

I wanted this to work so badly…..because let’s face it, Shellac, Artistic, Gelish is not the kindest on the wallet.

After some googling, I discovered that a base coat helps the Vinylux last longer but not necessarily holding up to the week long wear claim on the package.  I like this set but not enough to go back and buy full size bottles.  I’m disappointed!!!


Anyone else have a different experience? Does your Vinylux last? Is it just a base coat? What am I doing incorrectly?

Review-Epic Blend Premium lip balm

*This post contains products sent for review.  I like to state that first out of respect for my readers. This doesn’t change my opinion of the products.*

Shameless plug:  I actually had a giveaway for an entire set of these lip balms that I first mentioned on my YouTube channel.  It’s closed now but just in case, you may want to check over there-I tend to give my subscribers a “heads-up” when the giveaways come around!

I have extremely dry lips. ALL. THE. TIME.  I’ll cut right to the chase when I tell you that this product is heaven-sent.


Epic Blend uses natural ingredients without synthetics….which is a huge + for me. I hate hate HATE using petroleum based lip balm (and before you all slam me for using lipsticks, glosses with chemicals, hear me out).  I like to use the most moisturizing natural products the closest to my skin….this product is amazing to wear on its own when you’re out in the ‘weather’, or even as your base before you apply your other lip products.  It GLIDES on and the flavors are fun!

Epic has 3 different ‘categories’ of balms:

Hemp:  Organic Hemp Seed Oil is a great anti-oxidant, super nourishing and quickly absorbs deep into the skin cells.

More Moisture:  Seven moisturizers, including Organic Shea Butter come together to provide an extra kick of moisture plus a boost of staying power.

Vegan:  100% plant-based and beeswax-free.  Candelilla wax is used in these balms, giving them a smooth texture.

The formulas:

-Nutrient dense natural and organic ingredients that improve skin’s health

-Petroleum free, Gluten free and non GMO

-Not tested on animals

-Natural flavors

Sounds good to me, right?  I’ve been using these and loving them.  And so has my other half, who was a devout Carmex user…..and fyi, there is an unflavored version if you aren’t into all that.

Try these out-you won’t be disappointed in this *Epic* Canadian company (see what I did there?)

Find Epic Blend:

on the web

on facebook

on twitter




Giveaway!!! Canadian Beauties and gift givers-12 days of Beauty!! Enter me!!!

It’s the holiday season…….

you either love it or hate it.  So let me (courtesy of the fabulous people behind #beautyunited) take some of that burden off your shoulders.

I’m having a contest/giveaway!

From now (December 1) until December 12th, I’ll be posting pictures of holiday inspired gift ideas.  You can win this box right here:


Looks good, doesn’t it?  FYI, I actually noticed that I had taken some items out of it-a silver makeup bag with some cosmetics inside!  Let me say, it’s a BIG box with lots of items inside to keep you looking your best this holiday season!

Here’s what I would like you to do:


1. Take a photo that demonstrates why you should win this box.  Get creative or don’t……but it would be cool if you did!

2.  Send me that photo via email . By sending this photo to me, you are giving me ‘permission’ to post it on my instagram account and/or use it on my blog.

3.  Subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel, and like my facebook page.

I’ll be posting my holiday inspired photos featuring products from this box starting TODAY!  Follow me on instagram mereditheng115

Did you think I wouldn’t put it on rafflecopter? Here’s the widget that repeats the above….some people still appreciate the words!


a Rafflecopter giveaway