February 03, 2016

Sensual Escape with Muru Aki Ritual #sanctuarydayspas

When was the last time you enjoyed a truly relaxing massage? 

It's been a while for me, which is ironic, because I do get regular massages. I'm a regular at at Sanctuary Day Spas in Vaughan, but when I go for an RMT treatment, it's work. It's not the most relaxing experience. That's all my doing, by the way. I always ask the RMT to work out the knots and live by the "no pain, no gain" mantra. 

I'm also a pretty boring spa patron, always going for the same treatment, time and again. 

Well today, I went for different. I went for relaxing. I went for an escape. And it was blissful. 

In honour of Valetine's Day and the month of love, Sanctuary Day Spas has a special massage package for 2. It's called the Muru Aki Ritual and it was an experience like no other.

Donny and I arrived at the spa not knowing what our treatment would entail. We were escorted into a couples room, and instructed to undress and wait on the tables, under the covers. When our therapists came in, our paradise began.

The treatment combined cold and hot elements, using coconut oil, hot stones and seashells as part of the routine. On each part of the body, icy cold was applied first, followed by a warm coconut oil and hot stones. I could feel my body melting beneath her hands. 

And the room was filled with the songs and sounds of blissful Hawaii, which just added to the experience for me. Donny and I celebrated our honeymoon in Hawaii almost 7 years ago and the beautiful melodies brought me right back.

The Muru Aki Ritual is 60 minutes in length and is a beautiful way to connect and unwind. I was reminded a few times to relax (ha!), but I can attest that the treatment is, in fact, relaxing. And Donny? Well, I'm pretty sure he fell asleep on the table. 

The most disappointing thing about the treatment is that when I finally opened my eyes, I wasn't on Maui. Oh well. It was wonderful while it lasted. This ritual would make a fabulous Valentine's Day gift and a great way to reconnect and refresh.

Sanctuary Day Spas is generously giving away a Muru Aki Ritual (for 2) to one lucky Simply Suppa reader in honour of Valentine's Day. To enter, please fill out the form below.

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Good luck!

February 02, 2016

A Sweet Dessert for Valentine's Day #valentinesday

Everyone knows the way to a person's heart is through their stomach. Donny and I have always celebrated Valentine's Day with a meal -- usually made at home. In fact, when we were dating, we weren't used to cooking for one another and we spent HOURS in the kitchen and probably WAY too much money making a 4 course dinner for Valentine's Day that could have fed an army. We've learned a lot since then.

Last year I made heart shaped ravioli in a Gorgonzola sauce. It was to.die.for. This year, I think I'll try this:

This is Green & Black's Organic Maya Gold Dipped Figs with Chevre Mousse. It's a recipe from fellow blogger, Abbey Sharp, and it looks incredible. I love figs, I love goat cheese, I love chocolate. Win, win, win.

What You'll Need: 
2 ½ Tbsp Chevre
1 ½ Tbsp Greek yogurt, plain
¼ tsp Orange zest, plus extra for garnish
4 Figs, large
50 g Green & Blacks Maya Gold Chocolate Bar, finely chopped (½ bar)
1 tbsp Pistachios, finely crushed
Honey, for drizzling

To Make the Mousse:
- puree the chevre, yogurt and orange zest until smooth
- transfer to a piping bag or ziploc bag (cut a tiny hole in a corner)

Prep the Figs:
- wash and cut the stem off
- cut an X into the top of each fig, slicing almost all the way down

Melt the Chocolate:
- create a double boiler but placing the chocolate in a glass, heat-proof bowl and set over a small saucepan filled with an inch of water
- bring the water to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer
- stir the chocolate slowly until melted

Dip the base of each fig into the melted chocolate and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pipe the chevre into the X of each fig, making sure you get right to the base.

Place the tray in the fridge and allow to cool for 15 minutes, or until chocolate is set. Top with crushed pistachios, a drizzle of honey and additional orange zest (if desired), immediately before serving.

Sounds yummy, right?

Green & Black's Organic has an amazing chocolate prize pack to give away. To enter, all you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below and let me know what you're making this year for V-Day!

Good luck!

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January 31, 2016

January 31, 2012: A Day I'll Never Forget #preemie

4 years ago today my life changed. I asked Donny to bring me to the hospital as something was just not right with my pregnancy. I was sick and only 29w and 6d. My mommy instincts were bang on. Within hours, the team at MSH had me in an ambulance and down to Sunnybrook where I was monitored for less than 24 hours by a nurse who wouldn't and couldn't leave my side. Likely the scariest day of my life. We'll celebrate later, but today I reflect and I'm grateful: to the nurses, the doctors, my husband and family and to the little voice inside my head.

By now, most of my readers know my story. But I continue to remind everyone and advocate. Because I was so very lucky. Some people aren't. If I didn't act on January 31, 2012, we would not have Isabelle, and quite possibly, we would not have Julia, either.

January 21, 2016

"Force" Footprints #craftymom #starwars

My hubby is a big Star Wars fan. Huge.

Me? Not so much.

But this past Christmas, I wanted to give him something from the girls that would be meaningful, easy to make and extra special, in honour of Star Wars The Force Awakens. I call these Force Footprints.

The project is actually very simple. You'll need some feet, obviously, and a piece of canvas or board. I opted for canvas, as I'll hang it on a wall, somewhere, eventually. I used regular acrylic paint from the dollar store, applied with a foam brush. And for some parts, you'll need a steady hand.

First you paint your child's feet (one at a time) with paint and place on the board. I immediately wipe with baby wipes before heading into the bath. In this case, every character was a different colour paint, and for Yoda, the heel was green and the body was brown.

Allow the footprints to dry completely.

Now's the time you can get creative. With a really thin brush, you're going to paint all the details onto each character and bring them to life. You can also use a thin Sharpie marker for the finer details. Seeing as I'm not an uber fan, I had to reference some photos online and I think I did a pretty good job -- at least Donny said so!

And there you have it. I dated the back so we can always remember the year The Force Awakens was released. Plus, we have the footprints to go along!

January 13, 2016

Money Money Money #powerball

Tonight, someone will be $1.5 BILLION dollars richer. Or will they? The now famous Powerball lottery draws its numbers tonight at 10:59 p.m., and hopefuls around the US and even many people in Canada have bought a ticket.

Have you? I haven't. But millions of people likely have their tickets handy. About $2.6 Billion dollars has been spent on tickets since November, so at least 1 person may strike it very rich tonight. (Unless NO ONE wins again)

Truthfully, I caught wind of this very late. Maybe it's because I rarely buy lottery tickets anyway, or the fact that I'm Canadian and Powerball is American. (Canadians CAN win, by the way, but the tickets need to be purchased in the US and I'm about 2 hours form a border.) Oh well. Guess I won't be bathing in money anytime soon. 

But then I started thinking: What would I do with 1.5 billion dollars?

I think I would buy a nice big home, and pay it off. I'd also take a long trip -- maybe a world wide tour. I'd put aside money for my kids' education and their future, and help my family financially, too. I think I would continue to work, but would be able to donate to various charities and community groups. And I would definitely buy a designer bag. :)

If it's any consolation, the winner WILL be heavily taxed, albeit their payday will still be MILLIONS more than mine. Sigh.

So, I ask you: What Would You Do with $1.5 BILLION?

December 31, 2015

Happy New Year from Simply Suppa #happynewyear #2016

2015 was a great year; It's been a pleasure sharing this space with all who read.

Thank you and Cheers to a fabulous 2016!

December 22, 2015

What are your intentions for 2016? #holidaygiftguide #newyear

Way back in 2011, I reviewed a line of beaded necklaces (Mala beads) from a London, ON based company called Tiny Devotions. It was probably one of my first blog posts. Fast forward nearly 5 years later and the company is doing so well and has expanded its product line to contain not only mala necklaces, but bracelets, journals and other fashionable items and accessories.

Diana started the business as a hobby, making mala bead necklaces, and then selling them on facebook. When she launched the company in December 2010, she sold out her stock on the first day.

The mission of Tiny Devotions is "to inspire people to live more peaceful and intention based lives." And so, I ask you all, what are your intentions for 2016? What do you want? How do you want to feel?

Once you write down your intention, share it and wear it! Choose a mala during your intention setting process and wear it daily as a reminder of your goals. I hold mine between my fingers and rub the stone to feel the energy of the crystal at work. Don't forget to remind yourself of your intentions from time to time and revisit throughout the year.

If you're looking for a great gift for someone, or yourself!, to start the new year, I highly suggest the Seaside Bundle (pictured above) available here. It's the perfect way to start on your journey.

I especially love the new Spirit Animal and Sacred Identity bracelets. Complete the short quiz to determine which bracelet will suit your inner self and your intentions. According to the tests, I am a starfish and my sacred identity is sage.

I look forward to adding these pieces to my mala bead collection, soon.

For more information on Tiny Devotions or how to order, visit their website. Happy Holidays and here's to setting new intentions for 2016.