the great camp adventure


I have always been a supporter of SickKids Foundation, partly because I do a lot of work with them through my work with DQ, but also because my nieces have received amazing care through a similar foundation in Alberta. So, when I was asked to write a sponsored post for their latest campaign of course I said YES, I'd love to!

On September 28 SickKids Foundation will host a new adventure walk for the whole family called The Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure. It's a full day adventure designed to be fun for the little ones and the big kids at heart -  babies in strollers, grams and gramps and everyone in between will be able to participate and feel like a camp kid again.

So here's the deal. Rally your troops and register here (registration fee is $65 and non-refundable) or you can go the old fashioned route and call 416-4-KEEPS. The planned route will be full of fun adventures and if you're up for the challenge your team can walk as far as 20 km (but it's up to you how far you want to go). The littles (ages 3-17) are expected to raise a minimum of $150 and the adults (18+) are expected to raise a minimum or $500.

You can request more information here, keep up to date with the campaign on Facebook here, or follow them on Twitter @campforkeeps.

If you're looking for something fun to do with the fam and want to help raise money for The Hospital for Sick Children's most urgent needs this should be on your list.

Will I see you there?




midnight recovery concentrate


My tired, winter stained skin is being put to the test over the next 10 days. Kiehl's Canada has hooked me up with with two bottles of their Midnight Recovery Concentrate and challenged me to change my skin.

I'm up for it!

The elixir is a water-free concentration of Squalane (a botanical lipid that is similar in molecular structure to natural skin lipids), night-blooming Evening Primrose and essential oils including Lavender (my favourite). It also contains Coriander and Rose Hip Seed Oils, which when combined, provides a complete blend of Omegas (Omega 3, 6 and 9). Omega 3 and 6 Essential Fatty Acids have a restructuring benefit which keeps the skin hydrated.

I didn't know this but your skin gets busy overnight and especially between midnight and 4:00 a.m. No wonder we look so deprived when we've been up all night! Kiehl's specifically formulated this product to boost the repair and regeneration of skin during this time period.

I would snap a close up o demonstrate the before, but I don't want to scare you, so you'll just have to take my word for it when 10 days are up. I'm pregnant so I have really great skin right now (IMHO). For whatever reason pregnancy agrees with my complexion - no oil, no blemishes, but could use more glow and probably some hydration.

If you want to give it a try go pick up a bottle at Kiehl's ($48.00).

Wish me luck!


sunday night ritual


Last night I turned our bathroom into a spa and treated myself to an assortment of lotions and potions. I often have a bath on Sunday nights, just to relax and prepare myself for the week ahead. I'm partial to epsom salts and lavender essential oils in addition to whatever I might have lying around.

Fortunate for me, Kiehl's recently hooked me up with a bottle of Lavender Foaming-Relaxing Bath with Sea Salts and Aloe. I poured in a few capfuls as I ran the tub and instantly my bathroom was filled with an intoxicating aroma of lavender. It's not really a bubble bath, it really is just a foam, but enough that it creates a layer on top of the water. The scent of lavender is intense, so if you're not a fan I would suggest avoiding this one. If you're like me and love lavender, you'll be in heaven and very relaxed. If only I could draw a bath every night!

Image source

After my lavender soak I lathered on Kiehl's Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter (another hook up!). Honestly girls, this stuff is sooo good. First of all it smells delicious, like so good you want to eat it, and it seriously looks like whipped butter. Initially I thought it was going to leave me feeling really greasy and glistening (like most body butters do), but to my surprise my skin absorbed it in about five minutes and left me feeling super smooth. At $45 for a 235ml jar, it's a bit out of my price range, but totally worth the splurge if you want something to use for special date nights or summery shaved legs. It would also make a really nice gift for a gal pal or for your girlfriend (if any guys are listening).

What's your Sunday night ritual?




shop for the cause

I love Kiehl's (as you can see here, here and here) so when they contacted me about helping spread the word about their Shop for the Cause event I was like, sure! BUT when I dug a little deeper and I found out that this event would be helping David McKeage's (the Hubs' cousin) camp  - Camp Brigadoon - I was like, hell ya!

Camp Brigadoon is a brand new camp in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley for children and youth living with chronic illness. This camp has been David's dream for a long time, it has taken a lot of hard work and it's finally opening this summer!

So here's the scoop. This Thursday June 23 100% of sales (that's huge people) at Kiehl's locations across Canada between 12:00 p.m. and 2:40 p.m. local time will benefit the Canadian Association of Pediatric Oncology Camps (in Nova Scotia this will benefit Camp Brigadoon). So duck out of work on your lunch break this Thursday (I'm counting on you NSers) and stock up on your favourite products.

I'll be stocking up on mine!

here's the skinny

Wednesday night I went to the launch party for Molson Canadian Sublime 67. I enjoyed a few cold ones and a delicious three course dinner all courtesy of Molson (thank you!).

They passed out cards with calorie counters and I was shocked to learn how many calories are in our fave summer bevvies. If you want your bod to be bikini ready you might want to cut down on the following:

Smirnoff Ice - 250 calories/per bottle

Vodka Cranberry - 214 calories/ 7 oz. glass

Gin & Tonic (my fave) - 180 calories/ 7 oz. glass

Mojito - 169 calories/ 6 oz. glass

Caesar - 157 calories / 5.5 oz. glass

May I suggest a Molson Sublime 67?

June 03, 2011 — Alanna Banks

isn't that sublime

Is this weather getting you down or what? I am dreaming of the day when I can spontaneously run outside with nothing but a tank top, shorts and flip flops on or sit on the back deck with a beer and BBQ (sob!).

As I was mopeing around my house this week, hibernating from the doom and gloom a Molson Coors Canada rep came by with a 6 pack of the new Molson Canadian 67 Sublime (yeah! thank you!). It's their new lemon lime beer and only has 67 calories (now we're talking)! The Hubs and I gave it a taste test over chilli lime roasted chicken Wednesday night and we both loved it. It's super refreshing, the lemon lime flavouring doesn't dominate the taste and it's only 3% alcohol (perfect since I'm still nursing L'il E).

I suspect this will be my go-to summer brew at the cottage and on the back deck. For now I'll just have to sip it indoors while I wait for summer to get here.

Happy sipping!

pink makes the girls wink

A couple of weeks ago a childhood friend and I were reminiscing about our days in high school and the meat heads that used to hang out at the "trophy cases"-  these guys were your stereotypical bullies (where are they now?). Fortunately I was never the butt of their jokes, but I did witness a lot of other kids getting bullied. Fast forward a couple of decades and I have a feeling bullying is a lot worse. I can't even imagine what it must be like being in high school with the addition of social networking sites like Facebook (wasn't being bullied at school enough?).

The reason I'm bringing this up is because today is the 3rd annual Pink Shirt Day (a national campaign designed to raise awareness about bullying) and it's the launch date of Speak Out: The Documentary (a local film created to get kids talking about bullying).

So get out there and wear your pink shirts today people and remember all of those kids who were bullied. Since L'il E and I are on vacay in Florida I'll be sporting my PINK golf shirt on the links. Hopefully there won't be any bullying on the course.

primp my babe

Lately I've been giving L'il E massages (heavenly!) before bed and he's loving it! At first I was using olive oil (the kind for body) but it was really starting to clog his pores. On the hunt for an alternative, I discovered Weleda Calendula Oil for baby. It's 100% natural (no synthetic anything) and it smells so fresh. I love how E gets so calm while I'm massaging him and he smells delicious afterward. Here is an instructional video on bathing and infant massage just in case you want to try it too.

Since I'm such a cosmetics lover (now I get to buy them for our babe!) I also just had to try the Weleda Cream Bath, Body Wash & Shampoo and Face Cream (holy overboard!). I especially LOVE the face cream, I was using Aveeno Baby, but it was irritating L'il E's delicate skin (sad face). After just a few days with this new cream his dry patches have all cleared up (yay)!

Check out the Weleda Baby products if you're tired of the usual suspects and you're looking for something all natural. You can buy it at Whole Foods and other health food stores around.

Happy baby spa-ing!




williams fresh cafe giveaway

Williams Fresh Cafe has given me a $25 gift card to give away to one of you lucky people! They're promoting a new fresh menu that's better-than-fast-food (no need for the nasty food court!) including Chicken Pot Pie, Sweet Red Pepper Soup and a Strawberry Dessert Crepe. They've also got some yummy seasonal hot beverages like the Gingerbread Latte, Wintermint Tea Latte and Candy Cane Hot Chocolate (yum!).

Since the countdown to Christmas has now officially started I suspect a lot of you city slickers (me included) will be at the malls in the suburbs checking gift ideas off your list. So while you're out and about why not check out the new fresh menu at Williams?

To enter to win the $25 gift card Like my Facebook page (just search and post your must-have holiday gift on my wall. The gift I like the best will win. Contest ends Friday Dec. 3 at midnight!

Happy shopping and for Williams locations click here!

December 01, 2010 — Alanna Banks

we have a winner

Congrats to Simon Deschenes he is the winner of the Rogers Cup tickets this Friday and the ultimate dayoff. Thanks to everyone who entered. This I hope is the first of many more giveaways on fridaysoff! So keep on reading.

Stay tuned for Simon's delicious and very unique drink recipe this Friday. It will be the perfect end to your week!

Yay Simon! Enjoy the match.

August 11, 2010 — Alanna Banks