I have an unprofessional confession to make…I often choose to attend blogger events based on whether my friends will be there. I know…it’s bad! My decision SHOULD be based on career-advancement reasons…but I just love an excuse to spend time with the friends I’ve made through blogging!
A problem with socializing during blogger events is that there’s never enough time to catch up on EVERYTHING we want to talk about. So Mandy, Jenelle, Eleni and I decided to take matters into our own hands and plan a dedicated Girls’ Weekend in Toronto where we could pamper ourselves, relax and hang out to our hearts’ content!
We checked in to The Grand Hotel – a centrally-located luxury boutique hotel in downtown Toronto (it’s only 2 blocks away from the Eaton Centre!!!). The hotel is SO beautiful – with lots of marble floors, crystal chandeliers and a chic colour scheme. The decor is pretty much a blogger’s dream – check out how instagrammable the pool area is:
I’d had a stressful couple of weeks leading up to our stay – and I was in dire need of a mini-break! But as soon as we changed into our comfy hotel robes and headed down to the pool area, “vacation-mode” kicked-in and I felt so relaxed.
Our hotel room was ginormous – it was a Junior Suite spread out over two floors, featuring 3 bedrooms (2 kings and 1 queen), pull-out sofa beds and 4 full bathrooms. We also had a pretty patio and a kitchen. The pic below was taken in my bedroom – despite appearances, we were NOT jumping on the bed, we were just testing to make sure that my bed was soft enough! That’s allowed, right? And it was – oh my goodness, it was like sleeping on a cloud! Also – check out the double doors in the picture – they led into the biggest walk-in closet EVER – I SO wish I had a closet that size at home.
We pretty much lived in our Lazy Pants anytime we were in our room. They may look like regular sweatpants – but they are the softest and most comfy sweatpants EVER – they’re kind of addictive because you never want to take them off!
We knew that we’d be taking a lot of photographs over the weekend – including an outfit photoshoot – so we wanted our beauty game to be on point. For the perfect manicure, we used Joe Fresh Gel Look Nailpolish – an easy to apply polish that gives the glossy look of gel nails in one simple step. The formula doesn’t require any UV lamps, top coat or base coat – it’s chip resistant and lasts up to 14 days! There are 8 pretty colours in this range – I’m wearing Cheesecake (milky white) – but I also loved Cotton Candy (baby pink) and Blackberry (maroon) – they’re only $5 and are available at Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstores.
We love the look of loosely-curled hair – and we wanted all the extra volume we could get – so we used the Volumaniac range from göt2b. We started by prepping our damp hair with the Bodifying Mousse before blowdrying – it provided a natural height to our roots. Once our hair was dry, we used curling wands to create all-over waves, and then sprayed the Bodifying Hairspray to lock in our styles and make sure they lasted all day.
We were treated to skincare and beauty products by Elizabeth Arden. I loved the Beautiful Color Bold Kiss Lipstick in Luscious Raspberry (I’m applying it in the picture below). It is a flattering shade of hot pink, and the formula is super-moisturizing and pigmented. I was excited to try the All-Over Miracle Oil version of the cult classic Eight Hour Cream. It can be used on your hair, face and body, and has Vitamin E and Tsubaki Oil to provide long-lasting moisture. Eleni used the Fourever Bronzing Powder – which combines highlighter, blush, contour and bronzer in a streamlined compact. She layered the SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster under her moisturizer for a radiant effect.
Mandy brushed the Statement Brow Gel through her brows for a pretty and fuller look. She is a huge fan of the Prevage City Smart Sunscreen because it’s lightweight, non-greasy, and provides SPF50 coverage as well as anti-pollution protection. Jenelle used the Sheer Kiss Lip Oil which combines the hydration of an oil with the pigment of a lipgloss. She applied the Flawless Start Instant Perfecting Primer underneath her foundation to reduce shine and smooth out uneven texture.
With our hair and makeup complete – we headed down to the lobby to take some outfit pictures before dinner. We all wore spring dresses from GUESS and were gifted colorful flower bouquets thanks to Tonic Blooms.
We had our dinner at Citrus Restaurant – and the food was SO good. I especially recommend the Warm Mushroom Salad – a mix of delicious sauteed mushrooms along with a lemony dressing which was massaged into the greens. Each bite was SO tasty… I definitely need to go back for more!
After eating, we headed over to the Eaton center…for our evening cardio – ok, also because shopping malls are our happy place! We hit
Nordstrom, ZARA and Forever21…I found the cutest leopard print scarf and a pink floral kimono. We then stocked up on soda, chips and cookies and headed back to the room for an epic hangout session. We had SO much to chat about – we knew we had an early start the next morning but it was hard to stop!
The next morning we headed down for a leisurely buffet breakfast, went back to our room to pack up and check out…but thankfully our Girls’ Weekend was not yet over – stay tuned for our Sunday adventures in an upcoming post!
Photography by Janet Kwan Photography
DISCLAIMER: Thank you to the sponsors who helped make this weekend happen – The Grand Hotel Toronto, Elizabeth Arden, Joe Fresh Beauty, Got2b, Guess, Lazy Pants and Tonic Blooms.