Tag Archives: Toronto

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

New Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser at Kiehl’s, and DIY Cucumber Inspired Mask

Happy Monday All!

I’m excited to say that we FINALLY have the Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser at Kiehl’s stores in Canada (not online, yet), which is great considering it’s popularity elsewhere in the world! Social media has been living for it recently.

Obviously I picked one up the moment it hit the shelves and I’m already obsessed. It’s thick consistency and light, but fresh smell are a great start to it’s light lather and great cleansing properties; it even takes off light makeup! It leaves the skin feeling moisturized and hydrated which makes it great for a dry skin type, and all skins, even those with acne.

You can pick one up at your local Kiehl’s store, for now!

I was feeling inspired by the launch of the cleanser and so threw together a DIY Cucumber Mask. It was hydrating and soothing, also super cooling. If you’re thinking you might want to give it a shot, see the instructions below!

What you need:


Instructions:

  1. Peel and puree the cucumber,
  2. Mix the other two ingredients with the puree,
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 min,
  4. Wash skin using Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser and then dry,
  5. Apply mask to skin and leave on for 10 minutes,
  6. Wash off and finish with prefered skincare routine.

Doesn’t your skin feel super fresh?

I’m vowed to myself that I’m going to start trying more DIY masks and I’ll definitely be sharing those experiences along the way.

I’d also love to know your thoughts on this DIY mask and also the new Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser (once you get your hands on it). As always, leave those thoughts below or shoot me an email.

itspetergrande@gmail.com

Stay Fresh,

=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

    Foundations… my top 3.

    Ladies and gents, something I haven’t done in a while is talk about makeup, simply because I don’t wear much of it anymore. However there are odd days where I feel up to it and may throw on one of my favourite foundations, so I’ve rounded them up for a quick conversation.

    In parcticular, there are three that I go between regularly…

    < in order of preference >

    it Cosmetics / Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream w/ SPF 50+ / $38.00

    it Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+, Heavenly Skin Perfecting Brush, Bye Bye Pores Finishing Powder

    For the longest time I had read and heard great reviews about this well-rounded product but it wasn’t accessible in Canada yet. When I went to New York City in April I obviously dashed for Sephora and stocked up on whatever it Cosmetics I could. The Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream being one of the products.

    I generally wear it when I’m headed somewhere fancy that requires bringing my A-Game, and here’s why:

    • Full-coverage, and I mean FULL. You’ve never seen a CC Cream hide your baggage like this bad boy can,
    • Beyond radiant complexion,
    • Full UVA/UVB protection,
    • Skincare benefits from an anti-aging serum featuing Hydrolyzed Collagen.

    I will suggest pairing it with the recommended Heavenly Skin Smoothing Complexion Brush for optimal application and wear. I can’t go an application without it.

    You’re also going to want to make sure it’s set well and if keeping to the full range of products I’d say go with the Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder from it Cosmetics, yet another personal favourite.

    Seriously though, you can’t go wrong.

    Surratt Beauty / Surreal Real Skin Foundation Wand / $65.00

    Surratt Beauty Surreal Real Skin Wand

    About a year ago I was on the hunt for a new foundation, and again, just so happened to be in New York City as well. At the Sephora on 5th Avenue I came across the line Surratt Beauty, also not available in Canada, and an inclination led me to grab their Surreal Real Skin Foundation Wand.

    This unique product has a pump at the bottom and bristled applicator at its top for a one-stop-shop product that has it all concealed into one cylinder. Its a smooth and seamless application that leaves the skin looking fresh and dewy, with every wear. It also last great throughout the day, but do expect a HEAVY glow by the end of the day if you have a slightly oilier skin type.

    The only down fall to this great foundation is the possibility of damaging the applicator, leading to the overall waste of the entire product. However it hasn’t happened yet, so I’ll just go ahead and knock on a piece of wood.

    I say try it. You won’t regret it. It’s definitely going to remain one of my top picks for quite a while.

    The Ordinary / Coverage Foundation / $6.90

    The Ordinary Coverage Serum Foundation

    When it comes to The Ordinary by Deciem there isn’t much more to be said other than cost effective and results oriented. The Toronto brand popped up just a few years back and has made their mark, fast. Whenever I head into one of their shops the Coverage Foundations are never in stock which make them hard to come by.

    So when I went into the Bay & Bloor store last week and saw a full shelf, I 100% matched my shade and snagged a bottle.

    For $6.90, I’m not going to complain…

    • It has light wear but great coverage (not nearly as much as the it CC+ Cream though),
    • Sits well over a light moisturizer,
    • Lasts well through contact with light water.

    I would certainly not recommend it for an OILY skin type and would highly suggest a slightly mattifying setting powder to finish the application off. The full range of shades also makes it a product for almost any skin colour.

    Goodluck getting one. But if you do, enjoy!

    Essentially these are the foundations I wouldn’t be able to live without, as of right now.

    If you’ve tried any of the above leave us some of your thoughts. If not, happy testing! All the links provided will get you to the right places.

    Remember the Foundations,

    pG. =D

    I’ve got a thing for JIN.

    Well hello and TGIF friends, it’s basically the weekend and here’s to hoping you’ve got a wild one planned for the taking. That being said who wouldn’t hope for a weekend of sun and heat to enjoy while on that weekend off, right?

    I’m guilty of spending a TON of time outdoors which is why I love my hats, and I have many. Sun protection is absolutely key while under UVA/UVB and I mean it doesn’t need to cramp anyone’s style, ever. So hats often tend to be a great addition to any outfit when coordinated correctly.

    Whether that be a solo-colour snapback or a fitted to round off a leisurely look, or even a branded cap ready for a sports-game or to support a great cause. The options are endless.

    Lucky for me, I recently came into contact with a new Toronto/Vaughn startup on Instagram, JIN. Clothing

    @jin.clothing

    I love supporting local brands and so when they offered to send me a cap to try on myself I was super excited, because hats are 100% a guilty pleasure of mine.

    It’s a little different from my normal snapback or fitted, but I’m already a huge fan and it’s casual but unique look/logo have me itching to begin throwing it together with some of my favourite outfits. It has a bold but a visually non-invasive appeal to it that I’m consistently seeking in my hats, so well done JIN. Clothing for gaining one of your newest and biggest fans.

    Not to mention, this Dad Hat is extremely comfortable to wear.

    Details:

    • Unisex,
    • Dad Hat shape,
    • Cotton,
    • Adjustable strap at back for universal fit (mostly).

    Now this hat retails for only $18.99 CAD and is one of the many items that retail at www.jinclothing.ca. So I have to recommend, go on and check them out for yourself. There were actually a few great necklaces that I also have my eye on, but of course you wait to make these decisions and come up short. Thus my advice and personal mantra going forward; in any case, just do it.

    Not only is the selection of product a healthy one for a new startup, but the price of the accessories make them well worth the purchase.

    * Made in Canada *

    Stay Styled,

    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 www.charidise.com and indulge yourself, you won’t regret it.

    Stay Sweet,

    pG.

    White Chocolate Blondie Heaven.

    Recently I’ve become obsessed with baking during portions of my spare time. Whether that’s because I have a sweet tooth or I just like keeping busy, I’m not too sure. Either way, I’ve made some magic happen the last little while to the point where I want a dessert in my hands 24/7 going forward.

    My most recent creation is the White Chocolate Blondie; which myself, my roommate and my friends all basically fell madly in love with after just one bite.

    So you want to know how I did it? Cool, ’cause I’m willing to share.

    What you’re going to need is:

    1. 1/2 Cup Salted Butter,
    2. 8oz. White Chocolate,
    3. 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar,
    4. 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar,
    5. 1 Large Egg,
    6. 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract,
    7. 1/2 Teaspoon Butter Extract,
    8. 1 Cup All-Purpose Flower,
    9. 1/2 Cup Sprinkles,
    10. 3 Tablespoons Heavy Cream.

    Before going any further I would suggest dividing the White Chocolate into 2 x 4oz bunches and chop to prepare.

    Here’s how to prepare the White Chocolate bars of sheer goodness:

    1. Begin my pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees celcius and by also lining an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment/wax paper,
    2. In a microwavable safe bowl melt the butter and 4oz of white chocolate for 30 seconds. Stir and melt for another 15 seconds, stir until smooth. Add the two sugars and stir until smooth. Add the egg as well as the two extracts, and whisk. Fold in the flower and sprinkles, stir until combined. Now go ahead and pour the batter into the pan, and then smooth,
    3. Bake for 25 minutes,
    4. Begin preparing the ganache by heating the cream in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until it is very hot, stir in remaining white chocolate until it melts and add some sprinkles. Stir until smooth and pour over bars.

    There you have it, the White Chocolate Blondie. I do suggest waiting at least 2 to 3 hours before slicing the bars into your preferred sizes.

    I also stored mine in the fridge that way they would keep fresh and be safe from predators, aka the roommates.

    I also suggest having your Blondies with some milk, because the pairing of the two is beyond what any cookie tastes like after being dipped in milk.

    Additionally, I’d like to know how your experience was while baking these bars of gold. So please, comment AND share your photos/videos.

    Stay Sweet,

    pG. =D 

    L’Oréal Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Charcoal Clay || Week 2 || Day 7 

    Alright so we’ve made it this far, officially the 14th day of masking. Crazy, right?

    I can’t even imagine my skin without all the benefits of the amazing masks that I’ve just indulged in and continue to. The compliments I’ve received along the way have been many and it just reiterates the power of dedicating time to taking care of our skin.

    This brings me to my final mask of The 7 Day Mask Challenge, and it’s one that I’ve used for quite some time now. Funny enough as I took it out to apply it the other night I realized I had enough for one application left, timing it nicely for the final post of my challenge.

    And this mask is…

    L’Oréal Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Charcoal Clay Mask

    I discovered the L’Oréal Pure-Clay Masks last year when an influencer on Instagram was posting about her experiences with them, and I honestly couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. Overall, they’ve certainly left me satisfied and hungry for more.

    From the manafacturers:

    • Detoxify and illuminate skin in just 10 minutes,
    • Luxurious experience while potent pure clays and charcoals act like a magnet to clean out pores as well as draw out and capture deep impurities (such as dirt, oil and pollution),
    • Creamy, non-drying formula leaves skin feeling clean, velvety and rebalanced,
    • Addresses dull, tired skin to reveal a purified, even and radiant complexion.

    Although everything said above is entirely true, I find the mask itself got a little drying nearer the end of the pot.

    I do this mask often for the reason that its a comfortable experience and doesn’t dry out my skin, while purifying it as suggested. However with my recent application (the last one out of the jar) I wasn’t too happy with my skin the following day. I can vouch for the even complexion and purification 100% as that’s how me skin looked and felt, but when applying my makeup the following morning I noticed a few patches which I assume were dehydration.

    Now this also could have been my doing as well as I had did an overnight purification mask the previous night, and may have drawn a little too much out of my skin.

    Nothing that couldn’t be fixed though, a few pumps of a hydrating serum followed by a refreshing face mist; does the trick well.

    I can tell you that the L’Oréal Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Charcoal Clay Mask is worth the small investment and I would recommend it for a normal to oily skin type, maybe for a dry skin type depending on the sensitivity level. Its definitely a great way to freshen up the skin before a special even or a big day out.

    Tomorrow I’ll be back with my final recap of The 7 Day Mask Challenge to summarize my overall experience as well as what my all-time favourites are.

    Until then…

    Keep Radiant,

    pG.