Category Archives: Experiences

Exploring Toronto’s Deer Park and the Don Valley Trails 

Alright so this post is a little late and is going to be brief, but I couldn’t help but share my experience while exploring Toronto’s Deer Park and the Don Valley Trails about a week ago. Even with living in Toronto for 20 years, it’s something I’ve yet to do.

Now I can’t take all the credit because the idea did come from my boyfriend Stevie while we had a bit of time off together. So we went out as a family, dog and all.

Essentially we started from St. Clair subway station on the Yonge Line (TTC) and walked East on St. Clair until we hit the valley. We then took the hidden paths into the forest and followed the creek.

What we found was stunningly luscious landscapes, cute waterfalls and interesting stone structures scattered throughout. By the time we had gotten to the DVP we started coming across cool areas of graffiti under the many bridges, and then A LOT of greenery. The entire walk took us about 2 and a half hours, and was time well-spent.

The entire time we travelled through the valley we felt like we were in a distant land, as if we had hopped on a plane and left the city. Usually you have to hop on a bus, GO train or take a drive outside the city to find this kind of landscape, but as we discover our city more deeply that has began to change. Though I doubt many people actually explore the vast area so profoundly because it isn’t marked all that well, but that should definitely change in the future; in my personal opinion.

I highly suggest setting aside some time to explore Deer Park and the Don Valley Trails if you have yet to do so. It’s especially nice if you need to clear the mind and forget about all the noise for just a brief little while. Heck, or even a photoshoot!

Charting New Territory,

pG. =D

L’Oreal’s Colorista and a ‘Superkid’

Hey There Beauts!

If you’ve been keeping up with my Instagram Stories over the last 7 days you’ll know that I recently partnered on L’Oreal’s Colorista 2017 campaign. That’s right, I went from blonde to neon and guess what, I LOVED it.

I was sent a box of three coloursaquablue and purple. My task was to create a ‘Festival’ inspired look and share it with all of you, which is exactly what I did. The look that was created was The Superkid.

Colorista Aqua
Colorista Blue

Colorista Purple
To get this look we took my already-platinum blonde hair and painted panels of coloured highlights across it. While doing so we made sure to place more of the purple in the back, with blue and aqua paneled lightly in the back as well but heavier near the front of the hair. Essentially it created a metallic, texturized look that resembled the Superkid ice cream we all know so well.

The Superkid

So, why Colorista? There’s a few good reasons…

  1. The formula’s are vegan,
  2. The formula’s are ammonia free,
  3. There is no mixing required,
  4. The colour is semi-permanent and washes out within 4-10 washes.
The Superkid

    Overall I’m amazed at the pigment from this healthy hair colour and also the simple process required to remove the colour using the Colorista Colour Remover, should you want to. I work in a field that sometimes doesn’t allow me to colour my hair so vibrantly, so I opted in for the removal and I have nothing but fantastic things to say. But you should really try for yourself!

    I’d love to know what your thoughts on this look are, and also what colours you yourself have played around with before!

    As always, leave those answers below. 

    Your Colour Your Way

    pG. =D 

    Kids at Canada’s Wonderland

    Happy Tuesday friends!

    When was the last time you were at Canada’s Wonderland on a Saturday? If like me, you’re going to answer with something like, “not in the last 5 years.” 

    Halloween Haunt doesn’t count, especially when comparing to Kid’s Day.

    That’s right, me and my boyfriend accidentally ended up at Canada’s Wonderland on Kid’s Day. We thought going on a gloomy day was a good idea, which ended up turning into a gloriously sunny one and our worst nightmare ensued (maybe that’s a little drastic, but I’m trying to convey my message clearly…).

    We got on the Wonderbus from Finch Station and got to the theme park at around 1:30 pm. Once we got our tickets and were inside we totally decided that buying the Fast Lane in order to bypass normal wait times was a good idea… so we paid the additional $70 for the Fast Pass on top of our $60 ticket. I’m not one to complain but SINCE WHEN is it $130 for a day at good ol’ Canada’s Wonderland? I remember when it was $40 a day, who else?

    Anyhow, we decided to make the best of it.

    We started with Shockwave and ventured on to Vortex, Flight Deck and a few other favourites. It got rather annoying when Sledgehammer and Psyclone went down at the same time and needed maintenance, so Stevie hopped on to the Dance Dance Popup while we waited, presented by Coca-Cola, which definitely gave me a good laugh and a smile. Once we got on Sledgehammer we hopped on two of the newer rides.

    Firstly, Skyhawk scares the crap out of me and is a swing seat in the form of a plane that dangles you 135 feet in the air, while you flip two pannels back and forth to try and flip yourself mid-air. This ride is so not my thing, but my boyfriend who flipped 11 times would definitely beg to differ. I’ve tried to convince myself that I won’t die if I do it, but something else within me has a stronger hold on me than my better-thinking does.

    Secondly, the newest addition to the park, Soaring Timbers, is unfortunately a sore waste of time. I hate to say it, but it is. The new feature that has two pods seating 16 people, 4 rows of 4, has an arm that swings the pods around, up and then down, as the pods sway back and forth. At some point one of the pods does flip and its not a 100% guarantee, so it’s a hit or miss when looking for a thrill on Soaring Timbers; especially if you wait 30 minutes for it.

    Even with the Fast Lane we had to wait upwards of 30 minutes for our rides, which we didn’t expect for the money that was paid. Regardless we did our best to push through the busy day and get on a few of the rides we had intended to.

    After about 5 hours, a few rides and some snacks we hopped back on the Wonderbus and headed home. Myself and Stevie mutually decided that unless it was Halloween Haunt we wouldn’t be spending much more of our time at Canada’s Wonderland, because it’s obviously not the same it was 10 years ago.

    Fun fact, that’s where me and Stevie met a decade ago. Weird, huh?

    What’s your most recent theme park experience like and where should we seek our thrills next instead? I hear Ohio has a great ride or two…

    Stay Thrilled,

    pG. 😀

    Kayaking in the City & Ticket Link 

    Happy Thursday humans, it’s almost the weekend… at least for some of us.

    Earlier in the week, on Monday, I was taken on a two-hour Kayaking experience with my family, minus my father, to celebrate my youngest sisters’ birthday. We didn’t go too far, nowhere inaccessible via TTC, rather just over to the Humber River at Old Mill and Bloor.

    For those of you not familiar with the city, that’s in Toronto’s Western hemisphere.

    My mother found a wicked deal on Groupon, as mother’s do, which got us each a two-hour trip for $19.95. What a bargain, right?

    Affordable, within the confinements of the city, and also a great way to enjoy a summer day; before it all comes to an end.

    Yes? 🙂

    Don’t get me wrong the water isn’t deep or crystal blue and there isn’t the craziest of scenery, but it’s honestly a good time that I’ll gladly enjoy again before the end of this season. There was a ton of cute wildlife to spot, the usual ducks and a few other birds hanging about like the Stork, as well as ridiculously gorgeous houses lining the steep banks of the Humber River.

    We spent about an hour heading towards Lake Ontario, at which point we turned back and headed back up stream. It was a workout in and of itself but truly, I felt relaxed and distant from all the noise the city often produces. The temperature was mild with a light breeze and a cloud-cast sky as well, which made it an enjoyable environment to Kayak in. 

    It was also a great treat to spend that time with my family (hint hint), we don’t do things like this often enough anymore. When in reality, we really should be!

    Remember to buy your ticket off the Groupon link before it expires, and then make the booking for your excursion on Torontos’ Humber River.

    Toronto Adventures Inc. Tickets 

    I know I will be soon, again.

    Always Exploring,

    pG. =D

    Charidise, I Love You.

    Hello Foodie Friends!

    It’s been a while but I’m back with a food post, and a pretty damn good one to be real with you.

    We all know Toronto is BOOMING with quaint and tasty little establishments all across the city, and more parcticularly the Downtown Core. No matter where you look, turn or try to hide we often find our will power oppressed by some sweet or savoury force with a bright sign leading us to the all great and powerful, food.

    I mean even just taking a gander on Instagram now leads to an evening date at a place you may have never even heard of until just 5 minutes ago. Which is precisely how I came across AND ended up at Charidise last week.

    Charidise, 27 Baldwin Street

    Located at 27 Baldwin Street, nestled into the heart of Baldwin Village just North of Dundas Street at the Art Gallery of Ontario; this Taiwanese restaurant specializes in multiple unique dishes and a healthy choice of desserts. Just head on over to their Instagram for yourself, @charidise_gourmet, guaranteed you’re going to be the next to go. What really caught my attention was their Honey Toast, and when I called up a friend to extend the invitation there wasn’t even the slightest of hesitation from their end.

    So we made our way…

    I myself ordered the Strawberry Santa Sundae and my friend ordered the Popcorn Chicken and the Cotton Candy Honey Toast, while substituting the bananas with strawberries. Funny enough I didn’t end up with what had originally drove me there, but I’m not going to complain either way.

    Strawberry Santa Sundae
    Popcorn Chicken
    Cotton Candy Honey Toast, with Strawberries instead of Bananas

    Firstly, the service at Charidise is definitely up to par with not only the quality of food, but also the price being paid. You can expect to spend a good $40-$50 CAD between two people easily after meal, dessert and a soda to drink; which isn’t entirely bad for a cute date night out in the city. Secondly, the food and desserts were magnificent, I mean really…

    The Strawberry Santa Sundae was a journey on its own from start to finish. It began with ice cream and as I ate I broke into spoonfuls of strawberry sauce and fresh cheesecake, keeping me on edge until the end. We then dove into the Popcorn Chicken, yes after dessert, and it was something I’d never tasted before. Seasoned with fresh herbs and spices joined by a tender crisp, not to mention sensationally fresh chicken; each piece hit the spot on target.

    Popcorn Chicken

    Now of course I need to take a moment to shoutout the Cotton Candy Honey Toast and all the holliness that it bestowed upon my taste buds. I mentioned that we substituted strawberries for the bananas and it was magical paired with the Nutella drizzel across the golden crisp, sweet and perfectly baked Honey Toast base. It was heaven in every bite, and well worth the wait for it.

    The atmosphere was super warm and inviting, with an upstairs area accessible at certain, peak, times. We spent about an hour at Charidise before attempting to walk off what we had just devoured, attempting being said loosely.

    I imagine I’ll be making my next visit back to Charidise quite soon and I’ll be looking to explore the menu further. Who’s with me?

    Check out and indulge yourself, you won’t regret it.

    Stay Sweet,


    Sporting Life 10K, an empowering experience.

    A while ago I began posting about my experience as I trained for my first real run, since highschool anyways. Even though I failed miserably at contributing to that campaign of mine I ended up raising a fair bit of money and running the full 10K. So all-in-all, I’m calling it a win.

    The Sporting Life 10K is held in Toronto on Mother’s Day and begins at Yonge and Eglinton, extends down Yonge to Richmond, then heads West to Peter Street, South to Front, and then West to Bathurst before heading South West on Fort York; just to give you an idea. The race is a fundraiser for Camp Oochigeas which sponsors time at summer camp for children misfortuned with cancer, which costs $250.00 CAD a day.

    Can you imagine being the parent of one of those children wanting nothing more than to give your child a life, but suffering from financial burden? I can’t. Which is why I raised nearly $400.00 in total, shy of my ambitious $2000.00 goal. My intentions were there but the time and effort needed wasn’t.

    While I was training and fundraising I got caught up with work and unfortunately ‘fell off the wagon’. I also got sick with three different problems at once and it set me back even further. I’ve made full recoveries however, so not to worry.

    When it came time for the run I felt anxious, nervous and maybe a little scared. I’m a smoker (guilty, but working on it) and have minimal experience with running besides Cross Country in elementary school. My initial thoughts were ultimately failure.

    But when the sound went to give us our start I threw my ear buds in and felt a wave of exhileration come over me. I started with a jog and picked up pace as I ran South on Yonge Street enjoying the cool yet sunny morning Mother Nature had bestowed us with; taking in the concrete jungle under construction at its’ most quietest of times.

    Before I knew it I had made it, 53 minutes later.

    Shocking, right?

    That’s what I thought too. Even more so I finished in the top 4,000 out of 20,000 people meaning I was in the top 20 percentile, and truly, I have never felt more accomplished.

    I succeeded for not only myself but also at providing a day and a half at Camp Oochigeas for a child with cancer. Safely, an extremely empowering experience.

    I think one thing I’ll be doing again is participating in another one of the runs held in Toronto this summer, but also getting back into action for the Sporting Life 10K Run next year.

    Join me?


    NYC with Kiehl’s || The Highlights 

    Last week I took off to New York City with the Kiehl’s Since 1851 family alongside 70 other Kiehl’s Customer Representatives from around the world. Some of these countries include: Canada, China, Korea, USA, England, Scotland, Germany, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, Sweden, Mexico, Russia and Maylaysia, to name a few.

    Together we celebrated the 2017 Kiehl’s Legacy Awards where each KCR selected to attend demonstrated outstanding passion, commitment and sheer dedication to the brand and its’ philanthropies. You can imagine how excited I was to be chosen for such a trip, 5 days in NYC with some of the most passionate Beauty Buff’s from Kiehl’s stores around the world; a once in a lifetime opportunity I dreamed of since starting with Kiehl’s last February.

    On Monday, April 3rd I flew out of Toronto Pearson International airport into La Guardia, NYC. Over the 5 day span there were many memories created and experiences produced, right up until my flight out on Friday, April 7th. The trip was full of laughter, inspiration and connection which means I have a ton to talk about. However to keep it interesting I want to reminisce on some of the moments that really took this trip to a new level, experiences that aren’t too often easy to come-by elsewhere.

    Like I said, this was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opporunity and here’s why it will live on in my heart forever…


    Getting in to New York City via flight was as smooth as it could have ever been, we got to our hotel pretty quickly by our chaffeur which left us enough time to explore the city. 

    Our first stop was the Kiehl’s Original Flagship store located at 13th and 3rd, Pear Tree Corner in New York City. Now could you expect anything esle from three Kiehl’s employees on their Legacy Award Trip in the home-city of their favourite brand? Absolutely not. We explored the store and all its’ history while mingling with the always enthused and charismatic staff on-hand.

    The store itself is full of history, like the motorcycles driven and collected by Aaron Morse or the old fire doors used to keep back flames and explosions while products were being formulate in the stores’ original back-end laboratory. You can feel the energy when you’re browsing the products between both the newer and older sides of the Flagship, especially when seeing timeless aspects that are shared across the Kiehl’s family worlwide; such as the wall of customer baby photos and the numerous Mr. Bones scattered throughout the space.

    In preparation for the Private Shopping Experience being hosted by our Global team on the Tuesday evening I scoped the store for my purchases, which ended up being:

    • The Clearly Corrective Brightening and Smoothing Treatment,
    • The Butterstick Lip Treatments with SPF,
    • The Original Musk Roll-On Scent.

    Basically products I can’t get my hands on in Canada just yet, of course. Now once we left the Flagship we actually went shopping in Times Square and I was personally gunning for the Sephora I fell in love with during my last visit to NYC.

    It was my every intention to scope-out and purchase it Costmetics while on my trip and that’s exactly what I did. I had heard such great things about the CC Cream with SPF 50 and the Bye Bye Pores finishing Powder so that’s what I ended up purchasing, and I love them so far.

    Being quite tired and slated for an early start on the morning of Tuesday, April 4th, we got a quick bite after our shopping trip and hit the hay for the night in preparation for a surely exciting day to follow.


    The day started at 6:30 am with an early meditation followed with an 8:30 am car pick-up outside The Dream Hotel at 16th and 9th. I was headed to a very exciting professional photoshoot for a 2018 Kiehl’s campaign at Pier59 Studios. Seriously, a dream come true.

    It was there that I got my hair and makeup done by a cast of fabulous men and women out of Brooklyn. We shared laughs and got to know eachother while they did me up WELL. Now that wasn’t the most exciting part of course because if you enjoy being in front of the camera as I do, what follows next is a thrill.

    As a Kiehl’s employee it’s always fun to see other KCR’s from around the world in photos and vidoes featured by Global Education, so when it comes your time the excitement literally pulses through you. I was paired up to do two photoshoots, a video recording and some additional stills as well that will eventually be used for marketing materials throughout the brand. You bet that I brought the energy necessary and took full advantage of my moment of pride while at Pier59 Studios; embracing the other KCR’s from around the world on set with me, as well as those working with our Global team.

    Once we had wrapped up our portion of the day there two of us went exploring Times Square and we made some fun purchases at a Uniqlo pop-up that was featuring Limited Edition wear as per the Museum of Modern Art. I love my Limited Editions, who doesn’t? While on our excursion we also stumbled upon another Kiehl’s at 9th and 47th that also contained a Men’s Grooming Studio. Now it had been on my bucket list during my last visit in New York City to find this place and check it out, but it never happened so I was glad that fate brought us together this time.

    It was there that we spent a brief half hour with the Store Manager, Tyler, whom demonstrated to us a new piece of technology being tested at his store. It was somewhat of a Skin Graphing/ Analytics device that provides a more in depth consultatiom for the customer. I was astonished at the device and how it worked! We explored the store a little more before leaving and then headed up 9th towards our hotel, The Dream.

    We were scheduled to meet the rest of those meeting us from around the world at the Flagship store for 7 pm. It was then that the Private Shopping Experience was held and the welcoming ceremonies began. We had Cammie Canella, our Global VP of Customer Service and Education, begin the Legacy Awards Trip with a welcoming speech and introduction to our teams. I was on #TeamLuxuryBlue paired with the rest of Canada, the UK, Czech Republic and Croatia.

    Once we had made our purchases we all split for food and to bed in preparation for a 7 am meet-up at the Flagship store on Wednesday, April 5th; where we would then venture out as two tour-busses for the day.


    At 7 am we were up and at the corner of 13th and 3rd yet again but this time boarding the two tour-busses that we would spend until 6 pm on, exploring the day.

    Our first stop was the L’Oréal USA Piscataway Production Facility where Kiehl’s products are manafactured. It is an honour to get a tour of such a faciltity, especially as a a Kiehl’s employee and product lover, but also to learn about the many ways in which the production quarters is handled to minimize the impact it has on the environment. Which is also a Kiehl’s philanthropy, commitment to sustainability.

    We had each section of the facility explained to us in-depth by its’ own employees and mamagement staff, which left me with a feeling of joy and comfort. To know that the employees operating the facility are just as passionate about product development as we are about the results the products produce makes me happy to work for such a genuine and unique entity, because it’s not easy to come by. It also makes it easier for me to now sell the products to my customers with even more knowledge about each positive story behind the products’ formulation AND production. I had never felt more connected than I did at the Piscataway Production Facility, and still do.

    Following the tours we hopped back on the tour busses and were treated to an excusrion to the Statue of Liberty. 

    The Statue of Liberty is another attraction I had yet to visit on my previous trip to NYC so I was overjoyed when we were told that this is where we would be going. With blue skies and 18 degrees celcius as our temperature I was certain that it would be the perfect day to explore Lady Liberty herself.

    After a short ferry ride, which produced an incomparable view of the Manhattan Skyline, we arrived at Liberty Island where we had the opportunity to jump inside the monument and crawl up its’ many stairs to the pedastel outlook. With a heavy climb we finally reached the outlook portion and the views were just stunning. A walk around the podium gave us a clear view of the Manhattan Skyline and some of the aircraft also hovering in the area, including the military helecopters circling; which undeniably added to the entire experience.

    We were tired by the time we had gotten down from the statue and so grabbed a quick nibble at the café on the island before heading back in to New Jersey where our busses would meet us to take us back into the city. The plan for the rest of the day was to enjoy our evening of free time and grab a delicious NYC meal, which we did.

    At about 8 pm a few of us ventured to Crispo Restaurant, at 8th and 14th. I had the Ravioli which I must say blew my mind. It was cooked to perfection and had obviously been made fresh not long before we arrived. I could not help but think how similar it tasted to the Ravioli that my Nonna used to make, it brought back all sorts of feelings and emotions. We enjoyed our dinner and some laughter over a glass of wine or two before heading out to our next stop, The Empire State Building.

    Yes, but yet another attraction I had yet to visit during my last visit in NYC. Mainly because it was so busy last time that we could not bare to wait, and this time that wait was next to nothing so we made our way up the building at 11 pm.

    The views were breathtaking and the photos say it all. Overlooking the cloud-cast skies over NYC with the streets lighting up the fog hovering over the city, and then of course a huge glowing square at the center of it all; Times Square. With about 15 minutes of view-time the fog then came over and covered our view of the entire city leaving us with no choice but to head back down to solid ground. Regardless we were satisfied with our decision to be explorative and it is an experience I won’t ever forget.

    Once back down the elevator we hopped into a cab and back to The Dream for another good nights’ sleep before the Kiehl’s Insider Workshop the following morning.


    Up and out at 8 am for our 8:30 am start at the Manhattan Penthouse at 80 5th Avenue for the Kiehl’s Insider Workshop, no hastle.

    The day was to be kept more of a private session as we discussed new ideas for potential product development and services that we can offer to our customers. But, also because of the sneak peek at new product launches later this year AND next, as well as due to the new and exciting partnership that Kiehl’s will be launching later this year on a global scale.

    There was also an opportunity for a Social Media photo opp where we were invited to pose and shoot with our favourite Kiehl’s products, meaning you may or may not see my face on the Kiehl’s platforms sometime over the next while. Not only myself, but all of the other awesome KCR’s in attendance too. Following the photo opp there was also a video booth where we were to stand in front of a camera while applying one of the new launches on to our hands and commenting on certain aspects we enjoyed about it. To boot, I got asked to do this video a second time because they enjoyed the first so much that they wanted it to be perfected, how awesome is that!?

    Once we had our lunch and wrapped up the workshop we were given 4 hours of free-time to do as we pleased, as well as to prepare for the Gala Dinner later in the evening; also being held at the Manhattan Penthouse.

    Myself and two others actually spent the manjority of our free-time at the Sephora in the Meat Packing District, at 9th and 14th. To be honest we went in for one thing and became so engaged with one of the employees that we lost track of 2 hours. Paulette, or @mintmacaron88 on Instagram, was by far the most accomodating and helpful Sephora employee that I had ever interacted with. She listened to our every request and displayed great empathy as well as service, so it should not surprise you that between 3 of us we spent over $500 USD during that one visit on cosmetics alone. Did we feel bad about it? Heck no. We were thrilled!

    Thank you Paulette for your incredible compassion and skill!

    We used the last bit of time we had left to prepare ourselves for the Gala and headed back over to 80 5th Avenue for an evening od dinner, drinks and dancing.

    We began with a light Goat Cheese Salad followed by a delicious Fillet Mingon, how classy! The rich Molten Chocolate Lava Cake was a perfect finish to a great meal, and then we danced the night away together around the Manhattan Skyline from our sky-high Penthouse in the centre of it all. It was dreamy.

    Now what followed next was a trip to PHD, the nightclub on top of The Dream Hotel, with 20-25 of the other KCR’s also on the trip. We casually drank, danced and made memories on the dancefloor also overlooking the Skyline, again. We all knew how to have fun together and make the best of our short time in eachothers presence, so that is exactly what we did.

    I won’t comment on what time we went to bed in order to withhold judgement, but we we got our packing done and made it to bed in once piece anyways, for another early morning rising and start at the Manhattan Penthouse again; for what would be our last portion of the 2017 KCR Legacy Awards Trip in NYC.

    The awards ceremony itself.


    This was our final gathering of the 2017 Legacy Awards Trip where we were joined by not only our respected Global team, but also the General Manager of Kiehl’s, Cheryl Vitali.

    It is certainly an ambiton of every Kiehl’s employee to meet both Cammie Canella and Cheryl Vitali and so having both in a photo at once while receiving my Legacy Award was an incredible honour. Cammie led each individuals’ award ceremony with a heart-warming speech about why each of us was chosen as an award winner and it ended with tears of joy and happiness in almost all cases.

    For me, having Cheryl Vitali say to myself, “What an impressive year you’ve had,” as we hugged and exchanged hand shakes was incredibly inspiring and touching. It was enough to ensure that my second year with Kiehl’s would be just as impressive, if not moreso.

    We wrapped up the ceremonies with a bite and opportunities to take photos as we said our final goodbyes. It was hard and I cried profusely as I said ‘See You Later’ to the people I had fallen head over heels for over the last 5 days. Regardless I knew it was time to go home and get cranking on producing new experiences and learning opporunities for my customers with all the knowledge I just had instilled upon me. 

    With haste we made it to La Guardia airport for our 6:30 pm flight back but ended up back in Toronto 3 and a half hours later than expected because of ridiculous airport delays and flight cancellations. We almost didn’t think we were going to make it home but boy am I ever happy that we did.

    My boyfriend was waiting for me at the arrivals of Pearson International Airport with roses and a smile on his face, obviously after missing me for a few days. I must say I missed him as well, but when you’re so caught up in what you’re doing sometimes you do tend to forget about your life back home; and no one is ever to blame for that. We spoke a few times during my trip but it was hard to keep tabs on two lives at once, and he’s super understanding of that; thankfully.

    We hopped on the Union-Pearson Express to get us back into Toronto’s Downtown Core, where we currently live. This got us back downtown around 1 am, and you bet our bed was right where I went when we got in.

    There are moments where I can’t help but want to time-travel back to last week and re-live each experience over, and over again.

    To all of the KCR’s and Staff who made this one of the most memorable trips I will ever enjoy, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    And to all of you working hard in your fields, I hope your hard work and commitment is rewarded just as graciously as ours is at a Kiehl’s.

    Remembering Fondly,


    There’s This Château in Montebello…

    Le Château Montebello which is tucked away in Montebello, Québec is absolutely spectacular, no really. I would be kidding to say I wasn’t a tad bit apprehensive when I found out that the L’Oréal Canada Luxe National Sales Meeting would be held in a place where winter, in its wild of forms, is embraced with warm, open arms. The thing is I knew not to complain and was rather thankful as well as excited to be invited as the KCR of the Year for Kiehl’s Canada – Central, so why even find something to complain about?

    Le Château Montebello

    Now of course I went and had a blast, I was able to learn so much and meet so many fantastic new people with similar passions to mine; but I also fell madly in love with our temporary residence at Le Château Montebello.

    Landing in Montréal

    When we arrived from our flights and bus rides on Monday, February 6th we were welcomed to frigid temperatures and much more snow than we had in Toronto. Once we got off the bus, collected our luggage and made our way up the long driveway to Le Château we were guided into the massive cedar log cabin and into a rather beautiful common area that had a burning fireplace at the centre of it. Envisioned by Hubert Saddlemire and constructed by Victor Nymark; this stunning luxury cabin containts 4 major housing wings each with 3 floors overlooking the common area. The best part is, there is also so much to do.

    Le Château Montebello is equipped with:

    • a Marina,
    • Indoor & Outdoor Pool,
    • Idoor & Outdoor Tennis Courts,
    • Curling,
    • a Spa,
    • a Gym,
    • a Bistro,
    • a Bar,
    • a Restaurant,
    • a Gift Shop,
    • Conference Centres,
    • And so much more…

    It truly is a resort, and it’s no surprise that L’Oréal Canada would chose such a spectacular place to spend the next 3 days.

    The spa, pool & gym
    The spa, pool & gym

    The breathtaking cedar Château is built on a 17th century Seignioral estate in Montebello, Québec, about a 2 hour drive out of Montréal. The estate was eventually purchased by the Papineau family in 1801, which is why Papineau is also the name of one of the 4 housing wings within the resort.

    That’s the wing I stayed in during my visit, and my huge room with a King size bed, couches and walk-in closet located in the back-corner of the wing was just marvelous to say the least. It also really spoke to the old-fashion feel the hotel has with the carpet floors and dim lighting, I loved it.

    My room, don’t mind the messy bed

    Considering the long history behind Le Château Montebello it should come as no surprise when I say the atmosphere was certainly rustik. Nonetheless it’s beautiful, warm and extremely comfortable. Before beginning the second day of meetings I was able to sneak in a swim, in the stunning pool which is housed in a seperate complex that’s connected via underground tunnels. The design of this place is so spectacular that during the walk through the tunnel you’re led through areas with large windows that open on-to the marina and other spectacular views. I also need to make a comment on the wonderful food and friendly service before going any further; the staff are beyond courteous as well as helpful, and the dining options are to die for.

    Bravo Le Château Montebello!

    The marina
    The marina

    To conclude, Le Château was purchased by Canadian Pacific Resorts in 1970, only 40 years after its original completion in 1930. This palace has also been host to the G7 Economical Summit as well as NATO meetings, on top of being built as the primary meetings grounds for the Seigniory Club members, such as Lester B. Pearson. The history behind this resort makes it an even more impressive place than meets the eye.

    I cannot even begin to explain how much I enjoyed my time at Le Château Montebello without wishing I was there again, especially with the L’Oréal family.

    A few fun facts:

    • Le Château is built of 10,000 red cedar logs,
    • It took 1,200 carloads of timber off of a spur line from the Canadian Pacific Railway,
    • It took nearly 3,500 workers whom camps were built for.

    Keep Exploring,

    Peter. =D

    DECIEM The Abnormal Beauty Company, Deviance that Trends

    Only a few years ago, in 2o13, DECIEM hit the market by trade with their ‘Abnormal’ approach to Skincare, and well the Beauty Industry as a whole. They carry their own brands of Skincare, Haircare and Bodycare: NIODHylamideThe Chemistry BrandThe Ordinary./’stemm/FountainhifWhite Rx and AB CREW.  At some point you may notice and be drawn to the very unusual, simple yet visually appealing marketing and advertising that can be seen in and around Toronto; more recently when the company opened the doors to their first store on Queen Street early in the summer of 2016. To elaborate on what I mean when I say simple, what you see is the black and white colour scheme that emphasizes DECIEM The Abnormal Beauty Company as the consistent branding. 

    Quite like the modern and simple approach to the company branding, boutiques are now popping up accross the city, Yorkville and The Distillery District to name a few, as well as across the world; they also carry an open-concept, loft-style shopping experience that correlates to the overall concept. In a day and age where marketing teams are using all angles to target markets across the globe and SEO organizations are monitizing clicks, it makes sense to let the products do the talking. One may call it, unusual.

    DECIEM The Abnormal Beauty Company is a name I haven’t quite been able to escape lately, and to no surprise my curiosity gets the best of me again today and I make a visit to their small but well-stocked boutique at Parliament and Carlton with the intention of try something new. Since I work for another Skincare company myself it’s not often that I deviate away from the norm and dip my fingers into something other than what we retail, and I mean literally. However this feels like the appropriate time to do so with a peeking interest. I throw on my jacket and head out the door just two blocks East of the intersection I currently live at. 

    DECIEM The Abnormal Beauty Company, 242 Carlton Street

    When I arrive I open the door and take a step inside an Apothecary that differs from any other, I instantly become a kid in a newly discovered candy store. The interior, which is a warmly designed open-concept, invites with a beautiful plank table and bench that sits center to the products lining the brick walls of the studio retail space. Without hesitation I instantly become drawn to the shelf that retails the boosters, serums and primers. Currently my skin is extremely dehydrated and I’m in need of a new primer so this seems to be the right direction, keeping in mind to explore the rest of this heavenly place after finding what I need. 

    To my surprise, it doesn’t take me long despite the array of Beauty strung out across the store.

    Options live at DECIEM The Abnormal Beauty Company and it’s clear to anyone who enters one of their stores, or even checks out their website. For that reason it helps to ask for assitance from one of their representatives or do some research online prior to seeking your own experience. Last night when I did my digging via the web I came across a primer and serum I want to incorporate into my routine. The Hylamide Finisher HA Blur and The Ordinary. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum are my choices. Knowing that these are what I came for I gather them and place them aside as I explore some more. 


    The lady behind the cash-wrap who provides a small greeting when we first arrive needs to be probed for answers, unlike some stores where customer service representatives are willing to provide the insight without the initial inquiry. So I probe on through her sweetness. When doing my research last night I also become intrigued by a product from the AB CREW line called the Hair Minimizing Body Hydrator which is supposed to minimize the re-growth of body hair post-removal. Neat, huh? A hydrating body lotion that stunt’s the growth of hair after a shave or wax. Enough said, you can count me in. She continues on to explain to me what I already know based off of my experience on, so I allow her back to her desk to continue on working away as she was.

    The Ordinary. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and the Hylamide Finisher HA Blur

    After about another 10 minutes of analyzing products and ingredients while exciting myself ridiculously over things I probably don’t need/ already have, I approach the desk to make my purchase. While the kind and beautiful young lady rings me through she shares with me some company information and it delights me to hear that the products are a Toronto-based brand(s) made right here in the city. This helps to explain the ridiculously low cost of a highly-active serum and primer for only $29.15 CAD with tax. If your jaw just dropped, rightfully so. She delightfully hands me my bag with my goodies and I snap a few photos of the luxuriously modern boutique before heading out. 
    I can’t help but stress that you do yourself the service and find the time to trek on over to one of the few locations now being offered by  DECIEM The Abnormal Beauty Company. This includes Seoul in Korea, as well as Melbourne and, soon, Sydney in Australia. It’s clear that they have something working exceptionally well for them and it’s worth it to make the discovery now while it still remains much more personable and than other brands on the market, while also keeping to their philosophy by beautifully different. 

    I’ll also be following up in two weeks with my results after beginning to use today’s haul, keep posted.

    Stay Deviant,

    Peter. Xo 

    Heavenly Infusions 

    Working retail can sometimes make it difficult to find the time to be the Urban-Explorer we all want to be, at least that’s what I find anyways. But don’t get me wrong, I love what I do for a living. I finally have a day off to do some of that exploring and experience a new spot or two somewhere in the heart of the city which is why Infuse Cafe (IG: @infusecafe) becomes the perfect place to start. Prepared with my writing tools I walk down Yonge street to Infuse which is just north of the Ryerson University campus, 354 Yonge Street; an ideal spot to lure in caffeine deprived students looking for a more natural alternative compared to some of the other choices in the area. A small but quaint joint gloved by aromatic smells of Herbal/ Organic Teas that are being infused, nestled between a McDonald’s and Swiss Chalet on a busy main street; it’s interior is white and lined with mild decor consistent with branding that appeals to the organic nature of the brand, essentially creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for anyone looking to unwind and try something new in the process.
    I walk in and find myself being greeted by an extremely warm and polite young gentleman at the brewing bar/ cash wrap who invites me over as he notices my increasing curiosity, while I gaze in awe at the equipment lining the bar currently in action brewing another customers’ drink. The technology they use in-house is BKON’S Reverse Atmospheric Infusion system otherwise known as RAIN. He picks up on the fact that it was my first time, I must seem that taken back by what I was seeing, and so he begins to explain the concept behind the branding as well as the many menu options. He goes on to explain the Fair Trade nature that Infuse Cafe ( and Infuse Teas ( stand by which excites me to the bone as I myself work for a company that is heavy in philanthropic values. Not only is Infuse Fair Trade but all cups and straws are made of 100% biodegradable material. Seamless; would best describe the effort needed to connect to the Infuse Cafe mission on a personal level and this is what we should want to see more of as we leave 2016 behind and venture forward into 2017. To boot, 95% of the Teas at Infuse Cafe are certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI) with the Organic Symbol and this just reiterates their commitment to quality and how this company services not only its’ customers, but also the environment.

    Taken from @infusecafe on Instagram

    Once we find my Tea, which is the Orange Blossom (and it is mighty ‘bless’, no shame to bare), the gentleman invites over me to watch the RAIN infuse my Tea with the numerous vacuum-like operations that the system has. Keep in mind there are over 50 different Coffees, Teas and Specialty Drinks to choose from so any bit of direction should be welcomed with open arms when a visit is made to Infuse Cafe for the first time. The BKON RAIN system in use provides a richer and more full bodied taste to Teas and Coffees by using, and I quote, “…multiple vacuum cycles which allow for extraction to occur at the deepest layers of cellular structure.” As someone who sells cosmetics products and is subjected to language similar to this, I take a second to realize how scientific this experience was in-fact becoming and how revolutionary this entire concept is. Infuse is not mass-marketed, mass-produced nor popular on a global scale (yet…) but may surpass many other of it’s competitors sheerly off of it’s commitment to quality but also due to it’s impressive level of transparency. The way I see it, enhanced beverages accompanying an enhanced experience.

    For the next hour I sit at the window with my Tea in hand while doing some writing, and during this time I get the opportunity to connect with Infuse Cafe on Instagram personally. They reach out to me through a private message which instantly makes me feel that much more at home. A no brainer at this point, I know I make the right decision in checking out Infuse Cafe on my day off. Between the greeting, knowledge and service offered a short while ago when I first walk in, to the forward-thinking tools that produce the delectible Orange Blossom Tea I just finish; I must suggest taking a trip to one of Infuse Cafe‘s current two locations as a wise and unregrettable experience to any Urban-Dweller in Toronto. 

    Taken from

    Stay Sweet,

    Peter. Xo