journal · Uncategorized

Mystery blogger award




Happy Monday !!  On the weekend I was nominated by chimdelu2 for the Mystery Blogger Award.  I was both surprised and excited to be nominated as a recipient of this award.

I would like to thank chimdelu2 for the nomination, this is a very inspiring and encouraging blog.  Please check out her blog, you will not be disappointed:  link:

So what is the mystery bloggers award, this is what I found out:

Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma

The rules of the award include:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  5. Answer the questions you were asked.
  6. Nominate 10 – 20 people & notify.
  7. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).

3 things about me.

  1. I’m quite shy
  2. takes me a while to get to know people, but once I do I’m a loyal friend
  3. winter is my favourite season

My Answers:

1 – What will you change about yourself, if you are asked to do so?  

If I was asked to change something about myself, i would say that I have to be a bit more patient.  I like things done in a hurry and I do things too quickly sometimes.

2 – What do you do at your leisure time?

I like to read, go outside for walks and knit (a bit boring but very calming for me).

3 – What subject of discussion do you real enjoy?

I like to discuss anything, but I will stay away from any political talks.  Travel is something I enjoy talking about and finding out about.  New places to go and visit.

4 – What will you take as a therapy, If you are asked to do one?

I don’t quite understand this question fully but will respond as to how I interpret it.  For me going for walks or cross country skiing are a form of therapy.  I love being outside listening to my head phones and just not thinking of anything else just living in the movement and enjoying it.

5 – What’s your motivation to life and blogging?

My family is my motivation, I like being there for my kids and helping them in any way I can, if they need me.  Blogging is more of a diary for me, to document what I have been up to and how I am feeling.  I didn’t know much about it before I started and still have a lot to learn.  I never thought when I started that anyone would read anything I wrote, and I’m so blessed to have followers.

My Questions my nominees:

  1. What is your favourite food?
  2. What book are you reading right now?
  3. What is your favourite outdoor activity?
  4. What place would you like to visit the most?
  5. What TV series would you recommend?


I nominate these wonderful bloggers that inspire me  – I don’t have the required ten but I’m close:

Thank you to my followers !!💞








beauty · events

Happy International Women’s Day:

I celebrated International Women’s Day one day early, with some wonderful ladies, by going to the Windsor Arms Tea Room  and then attending The Kit –   The Live Beautifully Conference – hosted by the one and only Jeanne Beker.

First we headed to the The Windsor Arms hotel in Yorkville, for high tea.  What a wonderful tea room, so cozy and inviting.  The menu was delicious and filling:

  • A choice of loose leaf teas , each our own pot

We added a glass of prosecco 🥂 🍾 for an additional cost.


When we finished we made our way to  The Kit – Live Beautifully Conference ,  tickets cost $40 per person to attend.  After checking our coats, we were greeted with a glass of wine, there was a candy bar by Sugarfina, juices by Elixr, and Estee Lauder had a booth, which I never got to visit as we had to take our seat for the event.



One of the guest speakers was Dr. Vivien Brown.  Dr. Brown spoke about as women we need to take the time to take care of ourselves.  If we as women/moms don’t put ourselves first than we run the risk of not being there for our families in the long run.  We have to make ourselves a prioity.   Diet, excerise  & sleep are key to living a healthy lifestyle. So many diets are out there that it a can get confusing for everyone,  the 80/20 rule is recomended by many dieticians.  This means 80% of the time you make healthy choices, (fruit, vegetables, protein, legumes, limiting alcohol and sweets) and other 20% you can bend the rules.  One of the problems in North America is that everything is super sized.  Focus on eating poperly 80 % of the time & when you have a special occasion then eat what you want but don’t feel guilty about what you had.  We should be exercising 30-40 min most days, this doesn’t mean that you have to be in the gym all the time, you can go for a walk, take a dance class, go to the park with your kids or grandkids.  Strive to be  active most days, a fitness tracker can help with this as well.  You should strive for 10,000 steps a day, just remember not to exercise right before you go to bed as this can do the opposite and keep you awake much longer than you would like.  Sleep is very important, this is the time when your body regenerates and your brain has a chance to rest.  We have to allow ourselves to wind down so we get a restful sleep and we should be setting  a great bedtime routine.  Stress can also age us much more quickly, we should look at stress as a challenge not as a worry.  Stress affects us physically,  as women tend to take on too many tasks at the same time, and hopefully we can try to “finish” these tasks, well this adds stress.  What we need to learn to do is to say NO to things that don’t suit us, when we are saying No to one thing we are saying YES to something else, never say “I’ll try”…. Such great advice since I can never say No to anyone if they ask me to help out.

There was a fashion and beauty component to the conference.  There was a fashion show, with many great outfits for all ages.  The beauty panel spoke about various products both at counter level and in a dermatologists office that could keep our skin looking healthy and hydrated.   The  Estee Lauder education trainer spoke about their new line Perfectionist Pro, which is a rapid firming and lifting product, and advanced Night Repair serum.   I have not tried any of these particular products.  We did get some deluxe samples so we can try some of the products mentioned.  We were also reminded to wear sunscreen on our face everyday.

The evening went by very quickly, and wrapped up with Jeanne Beker and a panel of influential women sharing their experiences of getting older and what they have learned along the way.

Thank you to  The Kit for putting on a fantastic event full of information about what we can do to make our own lives better and healthier, very inspiring.












beauty · events

My evening at Fume Scent Lounge:

Last week, February 13th I was lucky to attend a cocktail party hosted by  @davelackie at #fumescentlounge, which is located in Hudson’s Bay, Yorkdale.  #Fumescentlounge is the only one in the world which happens to be located here in Canada.  I was so excited to attend this cocktail party  with guest speaker Diane Sonneberg, VP of marketing  for Coty prestige.



#Fumescentlounge is re-inventing the fragrance experience in an artistic way.  Everything about fragrance is art… the bottle design, the scent, finishing up with the ad campaign.

The concept of picking out a fragrance at fume scent lounge is very interactive. It was a concept that Diane Sonneberg dreamed up that involves the customer in every step of picking out a fragrance, either for themselves or for a gift.  There is an interactive screen, which in turn allows you to sit and play at the table .  After answering questions, 3 fragrances will be recommended, the inhalers will light up so you can pick them up and smell them.  To find out more about the fragrance, you place the inhaler on a scanner, this will give you the fragrance horoscope – the notes of the scents, who the perfumer is and when it was launched.

The concept of these inhalers are revolutionary as the beads already have the full scent of the fragrance, no need to wait for it to dry to smell it,  usually after smelling 3 fragrances your nose gets confused, with this concept you can try multiple scents without nose confusion.  Right now there are 9 fragrances in the system.  I really like this system as you don’t feel overwhelmed by trying too many fragrances at the same time.


The design of the fragrance bar is mimicked after “Apple’s” genius bar, where customers can just hang out and enjoy the experience.  The fragrance bar is a modern space with a spiral canopy.  The architect wanted to make the invisible visible,  his interpretation of what fragrance would look like if you could see it.

We were introduced to Marc Jacobs “Twinkle” fragrance, which is a new collection of limited edition scents based on the Daisy fragrances.  The bottles are a violet colour with gold and violet flowers on the caps.  “Twinkle” fragrances are fresher interpretations of the originals.


Daisy Twinkle – is more citrussy than the original and has a light scent with fruity notes such as wild berries, violet flowers and white woods.

Daisy Eau So Fresh Twinkle –   ingredients include sparkling raspberry, violet flower, wild rose blossoms and creme de cassis.

Daisy Dream Twinkle – this is different from classic Daisy Dream,  “twinkle”  is a clean scent with a burst of black cherry,  berry flavours, and fresh white florals.

All of these fragrances were developed by master perfumer Alberto Morillas.

All of the twinkle scents invoke endless summer and warm days………

It was such an honour to be part of this wonderful and special event, thank you @davelackie for inviting me and thank you for the amazing gift bag – a bottle of Daisy Eau so fresh, a clutch, a credit card holder for cell phone and daisy bracelets.  I felt so spoiled.

I would recommend going to the #fumescentlounge if you are in the Toronto area to experience this amazing fragrance journey for yourself.





















travel destinations

14 day African Safari – Wrap Up – Part 3

Hello… Lovelies….

Since this was a long trip I decided to break it up,  however, I have decided to finish with this final post. It will be longer but hopefully you will bare with me and enjoy the journey and hopefully my memories of the trip are still crisp….as they are slowly fading….

From Kasane we flew to Cape Town, SA 🇿🇦 Home for 3 days was  The Vineyard Hotel, A hidden gem, luxurious hotel  that is on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.  The towels are super fluffy and there is a nespresso machine in the room.  Our first day in Cape Town it rained and was quite cool, unexpected weather for December.  Our guide decided to take us about an hour out of Cape Town to Stellenbosch – wine country, a very quaint city, with most of the shops closed since it was New Years Eve.  The weather there was indeed sunnier and warmer.  We went to 2 wineries – Graff winery and Neethlingshof winery.  We did some wine tasting and explored the wineries before heading to lunch at Stellenbosch Kitchen. The food was really good with large portions.  We headed back to Cape Town to get ready for a night out.  We were supposed to go to the harbour to see fire works, hear the bands and ring in the new year.  I ended up staying in our room, as it was my turn to get sick… not fun.  Apparently I didn’t miss too much as it started to rain very hard and the group came back to the hotel early.

The next day we headed to see Cape of Good hope, table Mountain and the Penguins at Boulder Beach.   We did not go to Table Top Mountain as the line up on New Year’s Day was way too long, but we went across from it and got a view of table top from where we were.  The Cape of Good Hope was our next stop,  again line up to get into the park was long, luckily our wait was around 30 min.  After parking the bus, we hiked up to the lighthouse to get a better view of Cape point.  This is where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.  It was a sunny day but very windy and chilly out.  We next headed to see the Penguins in Simon’s Town.  After a short walk we arrived to see the penguins, they are so cute, and so many of them.  So incredible to see them in their natural habitat.


We boarded a plane the next day – Day 9 – to Nelspruit, then into vans for our  2 hour journey to Idube Lodge in Sabi Sands, which is part of Kruger Park,  We all had our own cabins, which was different from our other places and someone walked us to our rooms when we were ready for bed. We could not leave our rooms once we were there, made sense as animals were free to roam in and out of the reserve, there was a large fence to keep elephants out but that was it.  We had two rides a day, the first at 5:30 am and the 2nd one at 4:30 pm, each ride being about 4 hours.  Our ranger was Matthew and our tracker was Mark.  We saw so many animals on our ride, elephants, lions, lioness, kudu, impalas, leopards, rhino.  It was amazing how our tracker would just jump off the safari truck and go into the bush to find an animal.  Matthew helped me set my camera so I would get great shots both in the day and night in manual mode.  I was amazed at some of the shots I got, especially the night ones.  Getting up at 5 am was tough at first but after the first day, I didn’t mind it as it was exciting when we  left our camp, unsure what we would see that morning.  One morning we saw two elephant males, fighting.  It was quite the site.  Two magnificent animals battling each other.  One our afternoons a few of us went on a “nature walk” in other words we walked in the bush with 2 rangers.  This was exciting but also a bit scary, one ranger was at the front with a gun, we had to walk in a single file, not talk and only do hand signals.  As we were walking my thought was what if we come across something the guns will not take this animal down.  Adrenaline was pumping because I was frightened, not going to pretend I wasn’t.  We heard some noises in the distance as we were walking toward the pond.  There was a hippo, just us on the shore and hippo in the water.  After a few minutes we started the walk back, the rest of the walk was uneventful, but that was ok with me.  The walk in total was about an hour.  After one of our night rides we had an outdoor dinner in a secluded part, not far from the lodge.  It was so beautiful, candles lit all around, we needed a ranger to take us to the washroom or for a drink at the bar, just in case there was an animal lurking, and there was a leopard in one of the bathrooms 😳  at one point during dinner.   This by far was my favourite place, there were lots of animals to see, the lodge was amazing as were the rangers, so knowledgable.   After a few days we had to leave for our last spot, Nkomazi Game Reserve, which was a 2 hour car ride from Idube.


Nkomazi Game Reserve is a tented camp, at the end of greater Kruger, there are 10 tents and we took up 9,  This is definitely a 5 star place. The safari rides were the same 2 a day for 3 hours.  The only difference was that instead of lunch, we had high tea.  The tents were by far amazing, each had its one little pool to cool off, an outdoor bathtub and shower.  Our tent was at the end, so we were near the river, I could hear the hippos makes noises in the morning, there was a fence so the hippos could not come up.  We saw brown hyenas, lions, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, rhino.  We did another hike and stalked 3 adult rhinos and a baby….again a bit scary but exhilarating at the same time.   We got within 30 metres before the rhinos picked up our scent and left the area, we were quite low to the ground.  We had to keep our tents zipped up so that monkeys or baboons didn’t get into our room.   Being in a tented room was extremly cool, we kept the windows open all night I feel asleep listening to the frogs sings, the water rushing from the river below so relaxing.  The stars were so bright and so many in the night sky.  Such an incredible experience.  I wish I knew so much more about night photography so I could try and capture the stars, maybe another time.  A great place to end our Safari experience.


After 3 days it was time to pack up to come home, we drove 3 hours to get to Johannesburg to catch our flight to London.

A trip to South Africa which includes at least one Safari should be a bucket list must.  You will come back changed with a greater love and appreciation for our planet as well as for  Africa.  Leslie told us that when we leave Africa, part of us will be left there……well said.  🦓🦒🐆🐘🦏








I bought the Super Restorative Instant Lift Serum Mask by Clarins.  This mask cost more than a jar of mask but I figured I would give it a try.  I have always used a mask that either came in a jar or a tube.  I have used other sheet masks by Sephora before but found them almost too wet when I took them out of the package and applied them.  They fell off my face if I happened to move a bit too much,  I wasn’t too impressed.

The Super Restorative Instant Lift Serum Mask main ingredients are Shea, Oat and horse-chestnut.  The Oat helps with lifting and plumping the skin, giving the skin a more youthful look.  Shea oil, horse chestnut with harungana extract helps make tired skin fresh again along with toning the skin.

When applying the sheet mask, you first take it out of the package and unravel it, place it on the face, smooth it out then place the straps around your ears.  Then there is a neck flap that you smooth out onto the neck. Then relax….. I find this masks stays put a lot better than others that I have tried.

After 15-20 minutes of relaxation, take the mask off, massage any left over product into your skin.   Your skin will feel soft, smooth, and will look brighter. Any signs of fatigue will be gone, my neck even looked brighter.  The mask cost $23.00 for one.  A bit pricey for a one time sheet mask but worth it.  Your skin will thank you for the pampering during this cold weather.

Clarins – Instant Lip Comfort oil:

It feels like my lips are always dry and cracked especially in the winter months.  I started to use instant Lip Comfort oil in December.   My lips feel instantly hydrated without a sticky or oily feeling and my lips felt hydrated throughout the day.  I did not have to re-apply very often.   I used the Lip comfort oil while on an 18 hour plane right recently and my lips never de-hydrated during the flight.   My lips tend to get blistered while I’m in the sun without any sunscreen or if my lips dry out, I never had this problem during my 2 weeks in South Africa.  There are 7 shades available, with a hit of colour and some are flavoured (but not a strong flavour).  The bottle is 7 ml and has a super soft applicator.  The main ingredients are  Jojoba and hazelnut oils that soothe and comfort the lips.  The cost is $25.00 and can be bought at The Bay and other major drug/department strores that carry the Clarins line or on line at


Tiffany – by Tiffany & Co. :

I got a deluxe sample of  Tiffany  by Tiffany & Co.  in late October, the fragrance was launched in 2017. I was blown away by the scent, it is elegant and timeless, with a powdery hint to it and I liked the way it smelled on me.   When my sample was just about finished I decided to buy a bottle.

The fragrance smells soft, clean and  fresh.  The top notes are mandarin orange, bergamot, and lemon.  The middle notes are noble iris, black current, peach and rose, and the base notes are patchouli and musk.

The bottle design is truly elegant. Made out of crystal with a pale blue ribbon that  adorns the neck of the bottle. Truely a magnificent, elegant design and looks so pretty on my vanity.  A 75ml Eau de Parfum costs $150.00, while the 50ml Eau de Parfum costs $120.00, available at Hudson’s Bay, and other major department/drug stores in Canada.


What are your favourite winter  beauty finds?? Would love to know what works for you.



travel destinations

African Safari – Part 2 -Bostswana and Zimbabwe

After landing in Kasane, Botswana, we drive to our first lodge Chobe Safari Lodge, this is our home for 3 nights.   We spend Christmas Day on our first river safari, very cool.  As we leave the dock, we are on the Chobe river.  Success we see our first animals – hippos, elephants, crocodiles.  We are reminded not to go near the river bank from the lodge as there are crocodiles in the water lurking… don’t need to tell me twice.  After dinner we go to bed early as we are all jet lagged and need a proper night’s sleep to get ready for our first Safari in the morning. After breakfast we divide into two groups – the kids in one safari truck and the adults in another.    Our ranger is Petrous,  he is an excellent guide with many stories.  He has also been on Animal Kingdom and Daily Planet, have to look up the episodes he’s been on.   The first morning as we leave the lodge on our way to Chobe Naional Park we see Elephants walking across the road, very cool and so out of the ordinary for us.  But a way of life here, we are told of many people that are killed accidentally by elephants or giraffes at night on the highways.  We are in Chobe National park, which is Botswana’s first national park and is located in the north of the country.  I am not prepared as to how close we actually get to the animals.  I was told by a friend that we will get close,  but when I actually get so close you could touch them (but of course don’t) the reality hits me.  The animals look so majestic and calm in their natural habitat its a feeling I can’t even put it into words.  We saw elephants, impala, giraffe, water buffalo. baboons, and zebra’s.  It’s all surreal as I’ve only experienced seeing these animals (not all of course) in a zoo.  We see monkeys at the Lodge, what i didn’t expect to see was how bold these monkeys can be.  We saw one monkey take the lid off of a ketchup bottle and put his hand in and take it out and lick the ketchup off of his fingers.  This went on for quite some time, Leslie tells us that the monkeys have become used to sugar and need their sugar fix.  Needless to say, no one ate any ketchup for the rest of the trip.

The next day our safari started off with a sighting  of a lioness.  Quite spectacular, she was sitting in the grass.  There were so many safari cars watching her.  We watched her for quite a long while before she disappeared into the thickness of the bush.  We saw so many elephants, zebra, water buffalo, giraffe, baboons and monkeys.  It was a spectacular day.  Just as we were leaving the park, it started to rain very hard.

Our next stop Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.  We drive in 2 vans,  our guides are from Forche Tours and Travel.  We need  a visa to cross into Zimbabwe , $50 US per person. The drive is about 1 hour – 1 1/2  hours to Victoria Falls from Kasane.  We stay at the iconic Victoria Falls Hotel which was built in 1904  – anyone whose anyone has stayed at this hotel, it’s the hotel of choice for royal families, celebrities and statesmen.   We only have a few days here and we take full advantage.  From our hotel we walked to the Victoria Falls National Park, which for a fee you go in to explore the falls.   In the park the views are breathtaking and their are no barriers anywhere,  so one wrong move and that’s it…. on the other side of the falls we see Devils pool, many people are sitting at the edge of the falls… this can only be accessed from the Zambian side.  This is not something  I have a desire to do.  After exploring the falls and get a little mist on us – some people are wearing rain coats, but it was a hot day and the occasional mist feels really refreshing and cooling.  We decide to take the helicopter ride which is $165 US /person.  The views from the air are spectacular, even more breathtaking.  After this we head over to Lookout Cafe,, where we have lunch and anyone who wishes to zipline or gorge swing can do so.  All of the kids did one of these activities.  I was going to do the zip lining over the gorge but opted not too at the last minute – yes I chickened out after seeing the gorge…..In the evening we went to a craft beer microbrewery called 3 monkeys, – a must visit if you are in Victoria Falls.  So many beers to choose from, we didn’t have dinner here but wish we did, as the menu looked really good.  Our last night we had a dinner/show, a perfect way to end our time in Victoria Falls.

We packed for our drive back to Kasane to catch our flight to Johannesburg then on to Cape Town for New Years…

Stay tuned – more to come –





Tips on Enjoying Canadian Winters:

While out for my cross-country ski yesterday morning, I was thinking how great it was to be outdoors enjoying an activity that was fun and still getting exercise.  I call it my outdoor gym.   I got to thinking that so many complain all winter on how cold it is and how much snow has fallen…. really you live in Canada where it gets cold and snow falls, stop complaining and get outside and enjoy.  I find the more I’m outside the less I get sick, as I’m not breathing in the recycled air in the house/office.

I also don’t keep my house super hot as I find that going from hot to cold not as good either.  I must admit that winter is my favourite season after fall (when I can start bringing out my favourite long sleeves and cozy sweathers).  I love how I can see my breath and hear the crunch of snow under my feet on a cold winters day or just after a snowfall.

The key to enjoying the outdoors is to find the right clothing, if you go out in a “fashion” coat and boots, yes you will be cold when the temperature drops past -10 C with a windchill of -18 C or above as we had recently -35 C.  My advice is to ditch the fashion boots(unless you are going from a garage at home to an underground garage at work), and get a proper pair of warm boots if you plan on being outside for extended periods of time.  They will  probably NOT be fashionable but really who cares if you are warm – there are many companies out there,  my favourites are Sorel, Le Canadienne (these are a bit more fashionable) and Ugg, depending on your budget.  When cared for these boots will last you years, think of it as your winter investment in yourself.   This also goes for kids, if they are warm they will play outdoors for hours.  I really like the Sorels for kids, I have 3 children (2 boys and a girl), when they were young I always bought neutral colours that can be worn  by either a boy/girl, so my daughter never had pink boots, as these  boots were passed down to her brothers, did this suck for her, of course but she got over it.  This keeps the costs down, these boots rarely wear out and you can buy new liner inserts if you are finding they are getting a bit worn. Once my kids outgrew these boots there were passed down to friends and I kept a pair for myself so when I shovel snow(on occasion) I don’t have to wear my suede ones.

Next invest in a warm coat or snow pants/coat for kids.  This is import, again work within your budget, to find the best coat out there for your price range.  The warmer you are the more you will enjoy the outdoors for longer than 5 min.  A good snowsuit for kids will last longer and can be passed down.  Don’t forget to get a good pair of mittens and hats, remember mittens are warmer than gloves as the fingers are not separated, this can cause fingers to get colder faster, a balaclava is good to have for those really cold days that you can put under your hat for extra warmth.  You can also get a pair of shell pants or long johns under your pants, so that  your legs are warmer.

Now that you are dressed, pick an activity.  There are many outdoor rinks, or indoor at various arenas to go skating.   Skiing is an option both cross-country and down hill ,  as well snow shoeing or go for a walk in your favourite park.   Skiing can be expensive, however you can get 2nd hand equipment at ski swaps or a few sports stores will offer a buy-back program that allows you to trade equipment for new ones when your child outgrows the ones you bought.  Jus check with your local sports store to see what type of program they offer.   There is also the option to rent, but I find more time is spent getting your rentals than enjoying the slopes.  Snow shoeing has become quite popular, the snowshoes are not crazy expensive , you can pick up a set from Costco at a good price and take them to your favourite park.

I never gave much thought that others might not like winter, until I met my husband, some 20+ years ago.   He definitely didn’t enjoy being outdoors in winter as much as I did.  I did grow up in Northern Ontario where it was colder,  and we had more snow.  Then I figured out that he associated winter with being cold,  due to improper clothing even as a child.   I set out to outfit him with the proper boots, coat, mitts, hat, long johns etc, over the years he definitely learned to like it more.  He doesn’t enjoy winter sports as I do, but he does like to go for walks or take the snowmobile out for a ride. The kids are older now and will go outside if there is something to do, they are fortunate to have learned to ski, skate and snow mobile.  All activities they can enjoy if they choose for many years to come, even if they don’t find the time to do everything now.  I have definitely come full circle and the past few years have been able to enjoy winter activities once again.

What is your favourite winter outdoor activity?  I’d love to hear if others enjoy winter as much as I do.