I'll Follow You Anywhere

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Though I’m from BC and generally considered more outdoorsy than most Toronto folk, I’m by no means an expert camper. Growing up we went “camping”, but for my high maintenance parents that always meant some form of glamping, usually in a massive RV with all the fixings.

Perhaps that’s why I am SO into Glamping Hub.

Have you ever wished there was an AirBNB for outdoor adventures? Meet Glamping Hub, the perfect place to find your next cabin or treehouse. This site is international, easy to use, and has SO many unreal alternative accommodations. From yurts and beach shacks to converted barns and luxury tents, there is seriously something unexpected for everyone, at any budget.

The longer I live in the city the more I crave getting out of the city and into nature, so I jumped at the chance to try out an Ontario glamping adventure of my own. After a lot of “shopping” around the site, I finally settled on the Tabins (tent cabins) at Grail Springs, a short 3 hour drive from Toronto. I brought my good friend Amanda from Blueberry Moon along, and with the help of Zipcar we zipped up to the retreat property for a few days of rest and relaxation.

Scroll down to read more

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I’ll admit I initially wasn’t the bravest about all the bugs and the pitch black composting toilet down the path, but by day three I was so thankful for all of the fresh air and quiet. We went paddle boarding, spent as much time as possible in the various saunas and made magic potions to sip with tea and spices. Though this vegetarian retreat with yoga every morning wasn’t wildly different from my fairly healthy lifestyle at home, it was still the perfect opportunity to disconnect, and there was seriously no better sound than the rain falling on our tabin roof alongside the crackle of the fireplace.

Maybe I can get into this camping (well, glamping) thing after all!

Here’s a list of some essential items to bring along with you on your next glamping adventure!

Portable Nylon Fabric Camping Hammock
2-in-1 Camping Light and Ceiling Fan
Ban.do Super Chill Cooler Bag
Solar Powered Phone Charger for Iphone and Ipad

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Oh so Pretty

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I have a hard time committing to a certain cosmetic collections, and always end up using a big mixed bag of products and potions on my skin. Thanks to our line of work, we’re constantly trying new brands and the most recent creations on the market, but this past month we fell in love with a brand and a formula that has stood the test of time.

Roger & Gallet has been “Distilling happiness since 1862” – inspired by ancient remedies and the avante-garde attitude of Paris, this brand is luxury-meets-apothecary traditions. Using 95% natural ingredients and precious essences, each and every Roger & Gallet product is designed to make people happy, from formula to scent, and after trying out their new skincare line Aura Mirabilis, we were just that.

Aura Mirabilis is a 4 piece beauty routine that’s formulated with 18 distilled and officinal plants for truly magical results. Inspired by “Aqua Mirabilis”, a powerful natural remedy created by Monks 300 years ago that could be drunk or applied to the skin for numerous healing properties, this line is a new twist on old medicine, and we’ve been loving the effect it’s had on our skin so far! Used by famous leaders and royalty for centuries, this skincare is literally fit for a queen. Newly available at Sephora, this line starts at $25 and it’s worth every penny.

Scroll down for the step-by-step routine, and GIVEAWAY details too!

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The Steps //

Extra Fine Cleansing Mask // can be used as a daily cleanser and makeup remover, or a mask!

Beauty Vinegar // an exfoliating primer that gently evens skin tone.

Double Extract Serum // a super concentrated serum said to reduce fine lines and reveal radiance.

Legendary Cream // this moisturizer literally melts into the skin – it’s so soft and smells SO good, we can’t get enough. If you’re looking for a lighter version for summertime, try Legendary Fluid instead!

The best part? We’re giving away the entire Aura Mirabilis 4-step beauty routine right here, right now! All you have to do is follow me on Instagram, follow Roger and Gallet on Instagram, and comment below what make you feel happy (with your Instagram handle so I can find your follow)! Contest ends Friday at midnight and is open to Canadian residents only – good luck!

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This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com

Dear Diary

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We always have a ton of fun here at RAOP, but last week was definitely one for the books: we had a Panago pizza party at Sugar Beach, did a trampoline workout with Bounce, and perhaps most importantly, got to tour a top-secret chocolate factory!

The Nestlé factory here in Toronto’s West End has been up and running making all of our favourite chocolate treats for over 100 years, but the public is never allowed inside their top-secret doors. Jo and I felt like we had found our very own golden tickets when we received our invite for a super exclusive media tour of the production lines (Jo has always dreamed of getting inside a chocolate factory).

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We basically had to “scrub in” like surgeons to get in the coveted doors, dressed in boots, hard hats, safety goggles and hilarious white suits (we sort of looked like all-white Oompa Loompas?) Once inside we toured three floors – Smarties, Kit Kat, and Coffee Crisp! We learned how smarties are tumbled in layers of coating to form their crispy shell before the colours are added, and you can’t even imagine the mocha scent at the Coffee Crisp production line.

Despite all the fun chocolate goodness, the really interesting part of the tour was learning all about Nestle’s #unwrapsomegood campaign and their Cocoa Plan in Côte d’Ivoire. Not only is Nestlé committed to making all of their products right here in Canada with no artificial flavours or colours and 0 waste, they also use 100% sustainable cocoa from Africa. 40% of the world’s cocoa supply comes from Côte d’Ivoire, and Nestlé does as much as they can to make the industry stronger, shipping cocoa seedlings to farmers, teaching updated sustainable practices, helping women create their own businesses, and building schools.

There’s nothing better than learning that a company is doing more good than you think, both inside and out.

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This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Making nut mylk is one of those things that just makes sense – it’s quick, simple, and yields a really delicious and nutritious end product. We’ve been trying to get on board with nut mylk and cheese in favour of dairy as much as possible, for the sake of ourselves, animals, and the environment, and luckily we have Amanda from Blueberrymoon here to help!

Cashews are one of the best nuts to use in dairy-inspired recipes thanks to their creamy rich texture. We made this version a bit more fun by adding some fresh local strawberries and a touch of beet juice to make our pink milk that much more pink! It’s super delicious on it’s own, in a strawberry banana smoothie, or blended with a bit o vegan ice cream for the ultimate strawberry shake!

Scroll down for the recipe

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Hey guys! Blueberrymoon here. I just wanted to add some notes and tips about making nut mylk at home! As noted above it’s so simple and so much better than store bought. Since cashews don’t have skins and become so soft once soaked, there is no need for a nut straining bag. If you’re using nuts with skins such as almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts or walnuts, a straining bag is required. However even with the extra step, you’re still looking at an easy process! When storing your mylk, make sure it’s kept in an air tight container or jar in your fridge and consumed within 3-5 days.

What you’ll need //

1 cup soaked cashews
1 cup fresh strawberries
4-6 dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
beet juice

Instructions //

Soak cashews in water for 4-8 hours or overnight.

Once soaked, rinse well adding all ingredients to your high-speed blender, we used our Vitamix.

Blend on high for about one minute.

If you like your mylk sweet, add a touch of honey or maple syrup!

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I'll Follow You Anywhere

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Hold on tight – this is going to be a BIG post, because we seriously can’t stop gushing about our time at The June Motel!

From the moment we spotted this property-in-progress on Instagram we’ve been dying to go, and when it finally opened this Summer we booked a getaway the first moment we could. With the help of Zipcar (hello BMW!) we set off on our last-minute road trip to Prince Edward County, but not one of us knew just how good it would be.

The following three days were a blur of bubbly, tarot readings, yoga, incredible food, craft beer and more bubbly. Our hosts at The June Motel welcomed us with an epic cheese board, and from that moment everything from the bonfire (complete with epic s’more bar) to their adorable County drive tours were above and beyond.

There was so much to do every single day that we had a tough time deciding what should make the cut, plus our room was so unbelievably cute that we had a hard time leaving the hotel! We’ve listed our favourite stops below, plus a few of the places we missed, and you can book our room here!

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Three Days in the County, RAOP style //

Day 1 //
Wine @ — Hinterland
Dinner @ — Miller House at Lake on the Mountain Resort

Day 2 //
Snacks @ The Drake Devonshire
Lunch @ The Courage
Stopped @ Flora Lora Flower Farm
Dinner and Drinks @ Parsons Brewery

Day 3 //
Yoga @ The June Motel
Breakfast @ The Picton Harbour Inn and Lighthouse Restaurant
Stopped @ Vicki’s Veggies
Lunch @ Norman Hardie

Spots we were eyeing but didn’t quite make it to: Slickers Ice Cream, Kinsip Spirits, County Collective, Fifth Town Cheese, County Cider, Prince Eddy’s Brewery.

One of the hardest parts of heading off on a fun vacation like this is leaving behind my beloved pup Honey, but thankfully I’ve found the perfect home away from home for her.

We’d never tried a dog boarding option before (because Honey is so sweet and low energy that all my friends always beg to take her), but this time around I decided to get out of my comfort zone and give her a play-filled vacation while I was off doing the same. Enter Soulmutts, a pup paradise where dogs get to live a “pack lifestyle”, constantly off leash and surrounded by four-legged pals. This place has really gone the whole nine yards – with a big hay-filled yard the dogs can access anytime, an acre-long private forest park that’s fully fenced, and specially designed transport vehicles to make sure the pups are safe and secure. Each dog is screened for aggression and proper vaccinations, which is a big comfort as a dog mom who’s had issues with other dogs attacking her pup at public parks.

The best part about the whole experience was the care and attention that the Soulmutts team gave each and every pup. Honey was introduced to the “pack” one by one so none of the dogs got overwhelmed, and I was sent adorable updates via email and Instagram photos throughout the week.

I’ve always been unsure how Honey would do in a group setting 24/7 because she’s a bit older and slower than she once was, but honestly I felt bad bringing her home after all the fun she had, and I can’t wait to take her back for another staycation!

Some of Honey’s current favourite things:

Chocolate Donut Squeaky Dog Toy
Purple Rope Dog Leash
Pink Elephant Rope Dog Toy
Plush Pig Doggie Chew Toy

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