Such a pretty fat….the update and response to ‘resolutioners’

I’ve seen a lot of resolution YouTube videos and blog posts lately….and to be honest, I have to laugh and/or shake my head.   I’m not sure what it is about the beginning of the year that deceives people into believing things like:

-2 protein shakes a day is all you need to lose a ton of weight and be healthy even though you have been sitting on the couch and surfing the internet for most of your adult life.

-if you exercise and join a gym after not moving your body for 20+ years, you will look awesome and be in ‘bathing suit’ shape for summer.

Now, don’t get me wrong….being inspired to finally respect your body is admirable but what’s different about this year?   What about the ‘big’ (no pun intended) picture?  Are you sure you will hang tough and put in the effort?

So while everyone else is resolution-ing to do this or that, I thought I would update you all on my status since I wrote this blog post.

Briefly ( if you don’t care to read the prior post),  I have struggled with my weight almost my entire life.   I’ve never been one to blame a fat ‘gene’ but I do believe that my body fights me with a vengeance when I try to stay healthy and/or lose weight, get fit, etc.

check out the gut on the girl in plaid….yup, that was me.


Fat and a bad haircut? Yup, that was high school….

Finally, at the end of 2006 I decided enough was enough.  So I did this…it only took me about a year and it was the longest year of my life.

So how have I been doing since that post?  Well, I’ve certainly have had my ups and downs but lately I’ve been on the up and up.  Check out some photos from the past several months:



At my brother in laws wedding-looking a bit ‘full’-that dress didn’t help either.

Hiding in the back at a Beauty Blogger event….behind the girl in blue


At a L’Oreal event after some ‘shaping up’ on my part.

Getting ready for an event…..not too shabby!


A holiday party dress-maintaining so far….


My company’s holiday party December 2012


Now…while that IS more ups than downs, I still had some rather “pudgy” moments in 2012.  So what am I going to do this year to make sure I stay on the up and up?

drinking as much water as I can throughout the day: I have found this to be super duper helpful-especially when I have an event where I’ve had a glass of wine or an appetizer or thirty.  Flush it out!  I also begin my day with lemon water-that really gets me going!

moving my body EVERYDAY (besides the walking during the workday).  Making a conscious effort to move with a purpose outside of my daily routine is super helpful:  maintaining lean muscle, keeping myself flexible, staving off those ‘threw my back out’ type injuries.  I have a bike that goes up onto a trainer, adjustable dumbbells and plenty of workout DVD’s to keep me busy!

keep myself accountable-I achieve this with my Nike Fuel Band (love this thing) and several apps on my iPhone.  I am also doing a detox program with joyous health this month AND following @SarahDussault.  I may even try DietBet.  Nothing like seeing it in print and putting some money behind my goals.  Why talk the talk and not walk the walk?

being conscious of what goes into my mouth: this is critical for me.  I keep it interesting with a mix of protein, fat, and fibrous carbs (read: vegetables.  Vegetables are carbs people…and slow burning carbs at that.  The best kind, if you ask me).  Nutrition is 80% of my maintenance plan and I’ve found over the years that my body is incredibly sensitive to items high in sugar, preservatives, alcohol, or any foods that contain gluten.  So basically everything that tastes “good” is pretty much off limits to me. Does that mean that I will never have any sweets, breads, pastas? No, but it will have to be a pretty darn special occasion because I know that it sends me into a tailspin when I ingest that stuff.

Now, I don’t know what challenges/obstacles the year ahead brings me.  But I do know that I am going to work my hardest to be healthy and happy during 2013.

To you resolutioners….I urge you to take a good, hard look at what you’re doing-ESPECIALLY if you are making your resolution public via YouTube or a blog somewhere.  It takes a lot more than your resolutions-it requires effort, dedication, willpower, and determination.  But you owe it to yourself to treat your one and only God-given body the absolute best that you can.   After all if you can’t take care of yourself, how will you be an inspiration to others?


All the best in 2013.

Best face forward-Quartz Crystal Spa at the Trump International Hotel, Toronto

I’ve been ‘around the block’ as far as facials/body treatments are concerned.  I have run the gamut of facial treatments, microdermabrasion, peels, hydrating treatments.  Surprisingly, I had not experienced an oxygen facial.

I knew that the Trump had a spa, but the Quartz Crystal Spa didn’t truly catch my eye until after reading a tweet on twitter regarding a custom chocolate basket and gift certificate combination.  While I am still waiting on s0meone (*ahem* other half because I KNOW you read this blog) to gift me that basket (my birthday is in January after all), I decided to go with an oxygen facial-more specifically the Age Defying Oxygen facial.

From the Quartz Crystal Spa:

INDULGE YOUR SENSES. Towering high above the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto, Quartz Crysta Spa™ provides a serene escape on the 31st and 32nd floors of the hotel.  The 15,000 square foot oasis channels vintage Hollywood glamour with contemporary city views intended to transport each guest into a luxurious haven of calm, balance, revitalization, purification and healing.

 Personal Spa Attachés tailor your custom experience from the moment you arrive. A full complement of soothing and restorative body treatments and massage therapies, therapeutic skin care offerings and relaxing specialty programs allow you to decompress and renew body, mind and soul at our day spa in downtown Toronto
SPA SERVICES. The Quartz Crystal Spa™ was designed with passion, vision and a desire to elevate you into a timeless experience of calm, balance and revitalization to both men and women. Offering an unrivalled assortment of facial treatments, specialty massages and full-day relaxation retreats. The spa’s facilities also include an indoor heated, salt-water infinity lap pool, movement studio, personal fitness training and fully equipped fitness facility with Technogym equipment all within an oasis that juxtaposes classic Hollywood glamour against modern city skylines.
From the Quartz Crystal Spa regarding my treatment:
Age Defying Oxygen | 60 minutes

With organic Bio-Swiss certified extracts and the latest advanced age-fighting actives, this Oxygen facial delivers instant results. Thorough cleansing, followed by cell-renewing Alpha Hydroxy Acids, extracted from chardonnay grapes, rejuvenates and refines the skin. A decadent massage, energizing mask, and a personalized nutrient infusion with pure oxygen helps stimulate collagen production, improves elasticity, and restores the skin’s youthful glow.

My experience:

When I hear the word ‘Trump’, I expect a certain standard.  However, based on my past experiences at hotel spas, I wasn’t expecting the best facial ever.  Prior to my visit, I had never had extraordinary facials at any hotel-even the high end ones.

Quartz Crystal Spa is on my top ten spa list-and is currently tied for first place.

The spa is beautiful and that’s putting it mildly.  Decor is not over the top or minimalist, it’s just right.

Are you ooh-ing and ahhh-ing yet? Or did you walk away to book an appointment already?

If you aren’t doing either of the above,  you should be.  The Quartz Crystal Spa at The Trump International Hotel is everything you’d expect and more. My treatment and experience were top notch from the moment I put my hand on the door to enter the spa.  After changing into my spa robe and slippers, I was ushered into a lounge with a fireplace (and TV).  I asked for water, I was offered citrus water or cucumber water.  There were snacks available. Every little personal ‘touch’ you can think of is there, no stones unturned, no details overlooked.

My therapist examined my skin and gave me a thorough consultation (in addition to the paperwork that is filled out prior to treatment-standard patient history type stuff). The treatment was amazing, especially the oxygen which was applied with an airbrush like device. It felt cool and soothing.  The hour flew by and before I knew it, the treatment was over (boo).  I was handed a mirror and the face looking back at me looked beautiful-glowy, not greasy. It was almost like my skin “woke up.”  The therapist recommended some products, of which I did purchase one, a serum:

The serum I purchased is the Serum Absolut Lighten Serum by Luzern Laboratories.


From the box:

This high-powered, yet gentle oil-free formula diminishes signs of sun spots while brightening and evening skin tone.  Skin looks clearer, brighter, radiant.  For all skin types, including sensitive skin.

-Reduces the appearance of sun spots, dark spots and discoloration.

-Promotes a brighter and healthier looking complexion.

-Gently exfoliates to quickly reveal younger looking skin.


Pump into the palm of your hand and apply to cleansed skin AM and PMFollow with another Serum Absolut if desired, and then with your moisturizer. 

Let me say, I do love this serum.  It does what I expect it to do, which is absorb quickly and prepare my skin for my moisturizer.  I do see a brightening effect but am unsure of the diminishing of my sun spots, as I have had those since my 20’s. I have a feeling I may be undergoing a laser procedure to remove those! However, the serum is definitely worth it and I am going to go back and purchase the other serum that my therapist mentioned.  Luzern Laboratories website recommends 2 serums as part of a daily skin care regimen.

Overall, I had an absolutely fantastic experience at Quartz Spa and I will be back.  I’ve already perused the spa services and am trying to narrow down the choices.  I may splurge and do a half day.  I highly highly highly recommend this spa if you are looking for true relaxation and thorough treatments performed by experienced therapists.  The decor alone is worth a look-and they have a salt water AND infinity lap pool so spa guests are invited to bring their swimsuits.

I stand corrected….there is ONE spa within a hotel that is worth its weight in gold…..

The Quartz Crystal spa is located within the Trump International Hotel in Toronto Ontario (31st floor) located at:

325 Bay Street

Toronto, ON M5H 4G3

Find the Quartz Crystal spa:

on the web

on twitter

on facebook




*All pictures, descriptions used with permission from Quartz Crystal Spa*


Dazzling new beauty products from L’Oréal Paris (available in early 2013)

Oh L’Oréal Paris how I love thee….check out these new products available in Canada in early 2013 (think from now-February 2013!)


Ideal skincare for customized, hassle free and simple moisturizing solution for all women.  The Ideal skincare line offers a range of oil-free, lightweight cleansers, lotions and creams for women with dry, sensitive or normal skin.  Each product is customized for beautiful skin and won’t clog pores or cause breakouts.

In stores:February 2013

Suggested retail:  $9.99 CAD-$12.99 CAD



Colour Riche Caresse Shine Stain Lipcolor, a revolutionary hybrid formula made up of 30% water combined with light shine oils for a shiny kiss of colour with a subtly sensual ‘wet look.’  Available in 12 pure light shades.

In stores January 2013

Suggested retail: $12.99 CAD


Colour Riche Eye Shadow Quads are four expertly harmonized colours in a golden case. Each one is made up of micro milled pigments to create a silk texture on skin. 20 quads available with colours ranging from beautiful beiges and taupes to blues and purples to pinks and greys.

In stores:  January 2013

Suggested retail:  $11.99 CAD


Visible Lift Colour Blush recreates volume to uplift and bring cheekbones out of hiding, adds radiance and adds luminosity.  It’s lightweight powder in a creamy texture never settles into fine lines.  A hint of shimmer gives skin a youthful glow.  It has zero talc and zero wax and is available in 6 shades.

In stores:  January 2013

Suggested retail:  $16.99


Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara with a lash hugging brush shaped to fit the contour of the eye line and define every single lash even the smallest ones.  Containing 200 brushes, it captures them lash by lash to create incredibly long, perfectly defined lashes.  Available in regular and waterproof formulas.

In stores:  January 2013

Suggested retail:  $12.99 CAD


Healthy look Creme Colour Gloss Haircolour super glossy, semi-permanent colour that delivers rich colour while softly blending away greys without ammonia!  28 shades available!

In stores:  February 2013

Suggested retail:  $11.99 CAD


Elnett Satin Heat Sprays in 3 formulas-straight, volume, and curl styles featuring Elnett’s classic fine, micro-diffusion spray technology and impeccable finish.  Elnett Satin Heat Sprays are the first styling sprays with dual action to:

-protect hair from styling tools up to 230 degrees Celsius

-lock in shape and style for three days

In stores: December 2012 (HOORAY!)

Suggested retail:  $9.99


Power moisture haircare line features a shampoo, conditioner and deep hydrating masque that provide instant infusion of moisture, leaving hair silky, soft and shiny.  With 10x more moisture than traditional hydrating haircare, this line offers a ‘rush’ of moisture.

In stores: February 2013

Suggested retail $5.99 CAD-$9.99 CAD


Colour Riche Nail Colour in 8 *new* shades that will create nail envy!

In stores:  January 2013

Suggested retail:  $6.99 CAD


Color Genius iPhone application enables women to effortlessly coordinate their nails to their outfit. Users simply snap an image of themselves in an outfit. Then they choose their mood between Day/Night and the application prompts them if they would like to Match it, Blend it or Clash it.  Based on the user’s selection, the application then offers the optimal L’Oreal Paris nail polish color and coordinates it with Colour Riche lipcolour and eye shadow to get the desired total look.

In stores:  NOW!

Suggested retail:  FREE!

Honestly, this is the tip of the iceberg….the word is that L’Oréal Paris has over 80 new products to unveil in 2013! That’s EIGHT-ZERO!!! I can’t wait to see what they have come up with!


Gift idea for the beauty in your life-Cristalliste by Kerastase Nuit de lumiere gift set!

Soft silky hair….everyone wants it!  Kerastase Paris makes this achievable with Cristalliste!

This set contains:

Cristalliste Luminous Perfecting Shampoo helps smooth the hair, leaving it lustrous and supple without weighing it down.

Cristalliste Luminous Perfecting Conditioner leaves the hair looking smoother for a feather light finish.

Cristalliste Luminous Perfecting Essence for dry ends-apply 1 or 2 drops only!

Kerastase products are sold only in salons!

Find Kerastase:

on the web

Gift idea for the beauty in YOUR life-Urban Decay Naked 2 palette

These palettes have been raved about and raved about!  Rightfully so….who couldn’t use a palette full of high quality neutral eye shadows?


The Naked 2 palette contains 12 “never boring” neutrals in matte, shimmer AND glitter textures.  This palette can produce many looks from everyday to going out!  There is also a full size double ended crease/shadow brush and a miniature lip gloss in the shade Naked.

I don’t know of anyone who wouldn’t love this palette as a gift!

Find the Naked 2 palette on (retail $60.00 CAD) or on the Shopping Channel ($60.00 CAD)


Gift idea for the beauty in YOUR life-dirt sweet + spicy sugar scrub vanilla sandalwood

Winter wreaks havoc on the skin-leaving it dry and flaky.   Nothing makes a beauty happier than a long hot shower/bath and a thorough exfoliation!

What it is

A relaxation ritual. A delectable body treatment.
Richly crafted, this abundant blend of sugar crystals, nutrient-rich antioxidants and essential oils render a divine exfoliation treatment. It features honey and chamomile extracts and nourishing essential oils and apricot kernels. Creamy vanilla and smoldering sandalwood are entwined to create a sweet aroma with a hint of spice.
Size: 12 oz / 350ml

coarse texture
maximum moisture
relaxing aromatherapy
No paraben, mineral oil, petroleum or artificial color.

dirt sweet+spicy vanilla sandalwood retails for $45.00 CAD

Find dirt products on or


Gift idea for the beauty in YOUR life- Dermalogica!

The perfect holiday face begins with beautiful skin…..beautiful skin takes a great skin care routine!

Perfect holiday beauty looks start with the canvas.

Prep your skin with regular use of Dermalogica’s reformulated Multivitamin Power Serum which combines the best of both worlds:

combat aging skin and fine lines with the powerful punch of a NEW skin-friendly form of Vitamin A to improve its fighting power and effectiveness.

The Result?

The anti-oxidant-rich formula features Vitamins A, C, E and F to enhance cell-turnover, reduce hyper-pigmentation, therefore ensuring a smoother skin surface.


The night before, along with plenty of water and beauty sleep, try enriching and revitalizing your skin with Dermalogica’s Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque.

This powerful masque of concentrated antioxidant vitamins helps skin recover from damage and daily stress while enhancing barrier properties and promoting healthy tissue regeneration.


Now you’re ready to put on your face.

Step 1: Dermalogica’s hero product, AGEsmart SkinPerfect Primer SPF 30.

The special ingredient? Rich in Amino acids, calcium, sugars and proteins, Pearl Powder stimulates cell regeneration and increases hydration while adding a beautiful shimmer to skin.

Smooth this on the skin for a flawless finish just before your foundation and concealer extending the coverage and wearability of your make-up for your night on the town.

Find Dermalogica:

on the web

on facebook

on twitter


Gift idea for the beauty in your life-Heritage Bears from the Bay

I often have a hard time trying to figure out what I should send my family for Christmas.  I don’t want to send them the same old thing-and gift cards are kind of a cop out.

I’m in love with the Bay’s heritage collection but more specifically, while browsing spotted these 2 bears.  So I picked them up.   They’re a bit of “Canadiana” for my American relatives.

Henry Kelsey is Hudson’s Bay Company 2011 Limited Edition Heritage Bear (sweater bear).  Henry Kelsey was a Hudson’s Bay Company explorer who was best known for his journey into the heart of the western plains of Canada.

Yale is Hudson’s Bay Company 2012 Limited Edition Heritage Bear (scarf wearing bear).  Yale is named after James Murray Yale, the chief trader at Fort Langley for many years.  Yale joined HBC in 1815.  He was less than 5 feet tall but had the courage of a lion and  personality to match.

These 2 bears are happy to share their courage or join you in a cozy cuddle! They are also a perfect present topper or stocking stuffer!

Net proceeds from the sale of Limited Edition Heritage Bears support the HBC foundation, dedicated to improving the lives of Canada’s children, women and families.

Henry Kelsey and Yale retail for $19.99 CAD each and are available at the Bay or online.



Gift idea for the sweet tooth in YOUR life-Forget Me Not Bake Shoppe!

Holiday times are the BEST times for treats….and I find treats taste even better when they’re made by someone fantastic.

Introducing Forget Me Not Bake Shoppe!Providing tasty treats to the GTA-yes that’s right, shipping people!  You just place the order!  Let Forget Me Not do the baking FOR YOU!!! Can I get a brilliant in the house please?

Mission Statement:

To provide delicious homemade treats, inspired by vintage recipes,

To inspire thoughtful and creative ‘gift that keeps on giving’ ideas and experiences baked with the same quality of ingredients, care and attention you’d find in any fine bakery establishment, or your grandmother’s kitchen.

If your grandmother had tattoos and a bit of a potty mouth, that is..

And if that hasn’t piqued your interest, let me woo you with some photos…..*warning* you may need a napkin to wipe the drool away!

Okay so if that’s the website and they look *that* good, imagine how they taste IRL!!!!
Something else that I am signing up for (and several other cookie monsters in MY life) is the cookie subscription service.  Check this out:

Forget Me Not offers monthly cookie and treat subscriptions for your convenience. Give the gift of a sweet subscription – it really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Cookie of the Month

3 months $60
6 months $100
One year $200

Just imagine: Every month a dozen delicious, freshly-baked cookies arrive on the doorstep of your home or office. Whether you’re on the receiving end or the one doing the giving, you’re bound to become the most popular person in ‘hood. Or the most envied.

Ummmm is that genius or what?

Forget Me Not Bake Shoppe can be found on Facebook, where the full ‘menu’ and list of offerings is listed.  Give them a call-you won’t regret it and you’ll make someone smile for sure!

Gift idea for the fashionable-MAHAYATRA designs

Looking for something for the gentleman in your life?  Tired of the same old tie rack at the department store? You know….the one right next to the ‘sport socks’ that’s been picked over by everyone and their Grandma.  Well check this out:

Neelesh Mistry a local Torontian that seems to wear many hats. Technical
geek, owner of a spa and local stylist and now has recently launched his
own line of Men’s Accessories under the brand MAHAYATRA (meaning the great
journey). He comes from a family of tailors and funnily enough also
marries a person who’s families own manufactures womens clothing for
brands like Top Shop, Harrods and others. One can say that the passion for
fashion is a family thing.

MAHAYATRA has been a project in the works for several years and the
inspiration for the collection comes from his travels.  Years of traveling the globe, from its most authentic and rural
nooks to cosmopolitan and bustling cities, he has found a real need for a
wardrobe that weaves these global visions for the man who is on a similar

But don’t just take my word for it…..feast your eyes:

Mahayatra can be found:

on the web

*all images used with permission*