Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Morgan and I had the pleasure of attending the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival this past weekend. If you watched my stories last weekend you will be able to tell very quickly we had so much fun. If you missed my stories feel free to hop over to my Instagram @syd.hoff because I have saved them all for you under my 'wine' highlight.
BUT before I get into the wine festival I have to tell you about the most amazing way to travel from Toronto to Niagara. It only took us 12 minutes to get to Niagara from Toronto. We flew with FlyGTA on one of their private charters and it was the best experience ever. We didn't have to drive for hours, or get stuck in traffic. We flew for 12 minutes. It was unreal. Because it's not a regular airport you don't have to wait hours to get on the flight. Just arrive 30 minutes before your flight and walk right on. Whenever I head to Niagara next I will 100% be using FlyGTA!
Morgan and I got to attend the opening night of the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival. It is Canada's largest wine festival series and we had a blast.
I loved getting to experience so many vineyards and visit each booth to try some of their VQA wines. I'm always looking for new wines to try and buy at home so this was such a cool experience.
One of my favourite sections of the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival was the #MyWineLife section. Basically a section with the most Instagrammable spots to shoot.
A giant wine bottle, a tower of champagne and boomerangs on a swing were just a few of the many options.
If you have VIP passes ($15-$30 that's it!) which I highly suggest you purchase, you can have access to all three VIP lounges. Harvest Lounge, Sommelier Lounge and Wine Garden Lounge which all have access to premium bars, comfortable lounge seats with amazing views of the stage and the best washrooms!
There's always a DJ playing good tunes but in the evening, they have a live band perform. The night we attended, the band Dwayne Gretzky were performing. Morgan and I haven't danced like that in a very long time. We had an unbelievable time. We finished the night with a stop at one of the food trucks in the festival and devoured the best duck fries ever.
If you want an even more in-depth look into our night, head over to our YouTube page because we documented the whole night as well!
Click for Niagara Grape & Wine Festival YouTube video (here)
*This post was sponsored by Niagara Grape & Wine Festival. However, the views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are purely my own.*
Thursday, July 4, 2019
Cheers to Rosé!
A few weeks ago, I attended the Wine & Spirit Festival at Sugar Beach in Toronto and it was so much fun. I hung out at the LCBO Rosé Cabana Lounge with wonderful people and learned some amazing facts about rosé. I also found my new favourite bottle...it was a good day!
At the LCBO Rosé Cabana Lounge we got the chance to try four different rosés.
- Red Knot Rosé - Australia - Extra dry - Easy going & fruity
- JP Chenet Sparking Ice Edition Rosé - France - Medium sweet & flavourful - Fruity
- Bodacious Rosé - Ontario, Canada - Medium Sweetness - Plenty of red fruit flavours
- Fantini Rosé Cerasuolo D'Abruzzo - Italy - Medium-bodied dry - Red berry aromas
It was so nice to try so many different types of wines from all different countries. I also learned a lot while tasting rosé at the LCBO Rosé lounge.
Fun Facts about Rosé
- Rosé is the easiest thing to pair with foods
- Some heat or spice in your food can bring out the fruit in your rosé
- Colour does not dictate how sweet or dry the rosé will be
- Shrimp is great with rosé
I was shocked when I learned that the colour of rosé has nothing to do with how sweet or dry it will be. I always assumed a darker rosé would be super sweet and the lighter rosé would be dry. Not the case! The colour just depends on how thick or thin the skin is and how long the winemaker lets the juice sit in their skins.
I found a new favourite rosé while I was taste testing at the LCBO lounge. Red Knot Rosé is absolutely delicious. This rosé blends together pinot noir, shiraz and grenache. It has such a gorgeous crisp, citrus and floral taste. This is so refreshing for summer. It would be perfect for a cottage weekend or a backyard dinner!
How cute is this LCBO Rosé Cabana lounge!? If you missed the opportunity to visit the Wine & Spirit festival last weekend you can still check out the LCBO Rosé Lounge at Sounds of Leslieville July 5-7 and Canadian Food Truck Festival in Burlington July 19-21.
I'm so excited to keep trying new rosés throughout the summer because LCBO released 17 new rosé brands!
I would love to know what your favourite rosé is!?
*This post was sponsored by LCBO. However, the views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are purely my own.*
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Here are some of my favourite products I've been using in the month of May!
This is the perfect light-weight tinted moisturizer that gives you a glow while protecting your skin with SPF 30. BareMinerals is cruelty-free and free of Parabens, Phthalates, Fragrance, Chemical sunscreens, Sodium lauryl sulfate, Mineral oil, Triclosan, Formaldehyde, Talc, Gluten and animal-derived ingredients. I've been using this everyday this month and will be perfect for the summer months.
1'Lux - Velvet Blonde Emollient Body Oil
This is such a luxurious, hydrating oil. I can feel my body super moisturized even the next day. If you have dry skin you should definitely try this out. I apply this after I get out of the shower while my skin is damp. 1'Lux is cruelty-free and they do not use any toxic ingredients in their products.
1'Lux Velvet Drops Daily Botanical Body Lotion
This lotion feels light-weight but still moisturizes my skin. I've been going back and forth using the 1'Lux oil and this lotion. The scent in both products is AMAZING.
I wear contacts almost everyday. Last year I changed from monthly contacts to dailies and saw a huge improvement. However, I still noticed I would get tired quickly and my eyes would still feel pretty strained when I wore contacts. I decided to order from Hubble just because it was cheap. Possibly the best contacts I've ever tried. If I put them in early my eyes don't burn or feel strained. I can wear them for the majority of the day and feel completely fine. Truly like they are not even there.
I usually use a brow powder for better application and for a more natural look. However, when I started using this product it made my eyebrows look natural and the colour glided on so smoothly I could finish my brows in no time.
I love using this on my body in the shower. There is zero sulfates, gluten, dyes, propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates and not tested on animals. This is gentle on my skin and does a great job cleaning my body. I've even used this on my face before and it's great. You can buy Renpure products at Target, Walmart, Amazon, CVS and Walgreens.
I have been absolutely in love with this shampoo this month. It says it's meant for normal to dry hair but I have greasy hair and I love it. It really deep cleans my hair but still keeps it soft and smooth. I also think this brightens my hair in a way. Maybe because it's really deep cleaning my hair it allows the colour to pop because nothing is weighing it down.
I have been using this after I rinse out my shampoo and I only use this on the ends of my hair. I have no idea if this makes my hair blonder but it does moisturize my ends really well. I've been using this on my ends almost every single time I shower.
*Some links in this blogpost are associated with RewardStyle affiliant link. Some products in this blogpost have been gifted to me*
Monday, May 27, 2019
I've been obsessing over a few skincare brands lately and soon realized they were all Canadian brands. I thought it would be perfect to put together a blogpost featuring some of these amazing Canadian brands.
1 Lux Beauty is one of the newest brands I've been introduced to. I legit fell in love with the entire collection. 1 Lux is a Canadian brand that prides itself on clean, zeo-toxic, botanical based body care products. They are also cruelty-free. I've never fallen in love with an entire collection before...instantly.
Some of my favourite products include:
- Velvet Blonde Emollient Body Oil
- SRSLY Buffed Dry Brush
- Velvet Drops Daily Botanical Body Lotion
- Velvet Mitts Hand & Nail Créme
- Cocoiste Soft Lip Scrub
1 Lux Beauty knows how much I'm in love with their brand, so they wanted to offer you guys 20% off all products using the code 'SYDNEY' until May 31st.
Cake Beauty is a brand I've known for a while now but had no idea was Canadian. Heather the founder & CEO started the brand in Kitchener, Ontario. She wanted the brand to have that girlie indulgence but with natural ingredients. Cake Beauty has created naturally luxe confections beyond bath & body into haircare and specialty items. Cake Beauty is cruelty free and vegan. When I first tried out the hand cream and foot cream below I was genuinely shocked. They were so thick, soft and luxurious.
Some of my favourite products include:
- Cake Walk Foot Cream
- Cake Heavy Cream Hand Cream
- The Take Out Dry Shampoo Sheets
- Cake The Wave Maker
Nuda is a fairly new Canadian brand that specializes in spray tanning products. They do sell a lot of their products to tanning salons but you can also purchase the Nuda skincare line. Nuda includes natural, handpicked ingredients that are vegan, cruelty-free, made without paraben or gluten. The last few months I've been using their tanning lotion and absolutely love the natural glow is gives me.
Some of my favourite products include:
Barefoot Venus is a brand I've talked a lot about. Barefoot Venus is a Canadian brand from out west. Three sisters created the company and they make straight-up natural products in seductive scents. Everything from the packaging to the scents are truly wonderful. My mom and I are both in love with the brand and our favourite scent is Maple Blondie.
Some of my favourite products include:
What are some of your favourite Canadian brands!?
* Some of these products in this blogpost have been gifted*
Monday, May 20, 2019
I was just at the cottage for the long weekend and as I was going through my products, I thought I would share what I brought and what I think is essential for a cottage weekend.
I rarely style my hair when I'm at the cottage so I love to spritz some Matrix Rough Me Up - Salt Infused Spray. It adds a little bit of texture and a little wave to my hair. Perfect for when you don't want to do much, but still look somewhat put together.
Another hair product I always bring to the cottage with me is John Frieda Frizz Ease. I like to use this after coming in from the dock. Especially if we are heading out to town I like to add a little to my hair for those frizzy flyaways I usually get when I'm out at the dock.
When I'm at the cottage I wear little makeup so this Clinique Pep-Start - pout perfecting balm is great. It's a balm with a nice touch of colour. Ideally I would love this to have SPF in it...so if anyone knows a great balm with an SPF and a bit of colour, let me know.
Speaking of SPF I usually like to bring a few options with me. I just recently tried out the Neutrogena Hydro Boost sunscreen in SPF 50 and love it. It's super hydrating and gentle on my skin. I even applied it to my face one day and I had no bad reaction. I'm thoroughly impressed with this sunscreen.
Another favourite is the Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport in SPF 30. Whenever I know I'm working out in the sun or doing a lot of activities that day I usually grab this and can count on it for being lightweight and protecting my skin.
On to my face SPF! I have always been a mineral sunscreen fan for my face. This Clinique Mineral Sunscreen in SPF 50 is fantastic. I think it does a great job at protecting my skin, with no irritation and being a great base for my makeup. In the past I've also used the Skin Ceuticals and Kiehl's mineral sunscreen for my face and have also loved those.
Whenever I'm at the cottage I know I'm usually going to be outside the whole day which is why I start off with the mineral sunscreen and then apply my tinted moisturizer after. The bareMinerals Complexion Rescue tinted moisturizer is my latest obsession. On regular days I just apply this without the mineral sunscreen because this tinted moisturizer has SPF 30. However, when I'm at the cottage I like to make sure I'm not missing any spots on my face so I apply the mineral sunscreen and then my tinted moisturizer. Although I wear this tinted moisturizer as my base most days, it really is perfect for the cottage because its lightweight and no fuss. It gives a nice glow and even complexion and thats all I need.
After sitting and playing in the sun all day going from the water to the dock, it can take a toll on our skin. Obviously I try to wear SPF all the time but sometimes I can get the odd burn which is why I like to pack the Avéne After-Sun Repair Creamy Gel. To be honest even if I don't burn but have been out in the sun all day I like to use this after the shower at the end of the night. It's very soothing and cool and feels amazing on my skin.
Now for the more random but necessary things for a cottage weekend.
Slides!! Last year I didn't have any slides and I kept stealing everyones shoes to head down to the dock. I find I'm constantly going in and out of the cottage so having slides is crucial. The furthest you go is the dock so you need something comfy, breezy and easy to slide on. Already this weekend I used these the entire time.
Hats, comfy sweaters and track pants are a must for a cottage weekend. Whenever it gets chilly at night or in the morning you will want to snuggle up in a big comfy sweater and track pants. If you are sitting out by the fire you will want a sweater and track pants so you don't get attacked by mosquitoes. When it gets a bit windy down by the water you will need your sweater. Waking up early while it's a bit cool out to drink coffee on the dock...you will need your sweater. Many, many reasons why you must pack a sweater or two. Make sure they are big and comfy!!
Making sure you have hats is a no brainer for the cottage. Not only is a hat protecting me from the sun but usually my hair has not been brushed or styled all day so a hat just makes my crazy lake hair look a bit better.
Lastly, a great beach bag. There are some days I will throw a few things in a bag and stay down on the dock all day. Having a large beach bag is so convenient so you aren't juggling all the things you need at the dock for the day.
I know bug spray may be a common one I didn't include but if I'm out late by the fire I just cover myself up from head to toe. Bug spray just smells and feels nasty on my clothes and skin so I try to skip bug spray as much as possible.
There are definitely some things I'm missing so let me know what are some of your cottage essentials!?
*Some of these links contain affiliant links and some of these products mentioned have been gifted to me.*
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
If you have been following me for some time you know I LOVE the holidays, so of course I decorated my condo for Easter. Out of all the holidays I have the least amount of Easter decor, so I headed out to one of my favourite stores for decorations - Michael's and picked up some new pieces for my place.
Bows are from Michael's. I just took some string and tied them to my stools.
Little bunnies are from Dollarama. I made this cake and literally threw mini eggs all over the cake. The cake stand is from Party City.
The egg is from Michael's. It actually comes in a giant egg you can break apart into three eggs. Vase was from the Hallmark store.
I found this egg wreath while thrift shopping but I found a similar one at Michael's.
Stools are from Structube. I bought the 30' bar stools.
Both pillows are from Michael's and my white fluffy throws are from Homesense.
My plant behind the couch is from Ikea and it is called bird of paradise.
I will be posting a lot this month of my home and decor over on my Instagram @syd.hoff make sure to check them out!!
Sunday, March 17, 2019
I always get a ton of questions about my bathing suits and where I get them from. Whenever I mention that the majority of them are from Shein everyone wants to know more about the brand and if they are a trustworthy company. Shein is a brand from China that ships worldwide. Everyone is always skeptical of the brand because of the large selection and cheap prices. I don't believe all reviews for the website are wonderful if you were to look them up online but here is my honest review...
I've truly never had any crazy issues with Shein. I order a lot from them. Yes, I love how cheap the prices are but I also love the fun selection they have for everything. My love for the website started with bathing suits. I was wanting bold, fun, colourful bathing suits and I thought most bathing suits online were so boring. When I stumbled on Shein I wanted every bathing suit.
Bathing Suit: Shein
When it comes to bathing suits I think the quality is great. Don't expect next level quality, but I think it's totally comparable to most brands. I have well over 10 bathing suits from them and I've never had issues. I've also never had issues washing any item either. I even wore a full piece white bathing suit thinking it may go see through when I got it wet..but it passed the test!!
The fit is the only thing that can be a little tricky. I love to read reviews for each item because people will give their honest opinion and let you know if the product fits big, small or true to size. I still order my regular size small and for the most part everything has been fine. My last order of bathing suits I did decide to order medium because I did notice some smalls were a little tight (they still fit) but I wanted to be super comfy and medium was great. If you are tall lady like me (I'm about 5'9 - 5'10) most of the dresses and skirts are going to be way too short. I try to stay away from skirts and dresses.
I think within the last year Shein has majorly stepped up their game with everything. When I first started ordering from them my packages would honestly take a month to arrive. Now I find them totally comparable to most brands. I believe my last shipment took 11-12 days. If you want something for a trip I would still give yourself some extra time just incase. Most of my orders have been under $100 and I get regular shipping and I've never had to pay Canadian duties. However, my last order was over $100 with express shipping and I did have to pay $30 in duties. I wasn't sure if it was the price or the express shipping that was the reason for duties, but just be aware of that!
I believe those are the majority of questions I get asked. If you have any other questions feel free to comment below or private message me on Instagram at @syd.hoff