Travel Swellness: Ford Explorer adventures in Toronto with Billie Jean

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When it comes to my schedule outside of work, most of my time is spent making my sweet rescue pup, Billie Jean, happy. Yes, I’m now one of those people.

So with the opportunity to get a Ford Explorer from Ford Canada and show Billie Jean parts of the city she has not yet seen, I jumped at the chance. She’s only been in Canada a year, so there’s so much she hasn’t experienced yet and even though dogs are permitted on the TTC in non-rush hour times, there are adventures that are so much simpler to do with a car.

Ford Explorer at Bluffs

Let’s first talk about this vehicle, though. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t driven in a few months, but the Explorer is one big SUV. I thought I’d get used to it the more I drove it over the four days, but I have to admit I didn’t. However, while it made it nerve-wracking for me (the infrequent driver) to park — I think I spent 20 minutes in my underground parking trying to get it into the only available spot, which was the worst spot of the whole parking garage — I always felt safe in it. The blind-spot assist function is something I appreciate as well as the easy to use GPS (this is a must for me given I have no sense of direction and being lost is a huge stressor for me). In terms of comfort and how easy the car is to use, I liked the Billie Jean hopped right into the backseat (that’s her ultimate seal of approval, I have had vehicles where she seems unsure of what to do with herself), and things like the button to shut the trunk door and to lower the last row of seats (making it easier for me to view out the rear window) make it a relief to drive. And while I’m no expert on driving, from my perspective, I felt like it handled smoothly (braking is nice and smooth, accelerates how I’d expect it to based on how I much I’m stepping on the gas, and even just  how the actual steering wheel feels in your hands; the simple things you may not notice when the car runs smoothly like this one did, but are glaringly obvious when they’re not comfortable to the touch or driving experience, in my experience anyhow).

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I learned how well it drove over the course of a few days, and first up was a spa day for Billie Jean. We rolled up to Park9 in the Distillery  District, where Billie Jean enjoyed a massage bath, she get a mani (well, her claws were trimmed) and best of all, she got a blueberry facial. How cute is that? She came out smelling so fresh and clean and her fur was absolutely brilliant!

Sherwood Park

The rest of our time was spent visiting friends and going to parks we can’t access simply. This included Sherwood Park, which is a lovely park to trek around with a large off-leash section, and also Sixteen Mile Creek in Oakville, where Billie Jean got to sport her adorable new Nordic sweater.

Sixteen Mile Creek

Before stopping into Oakville, we went to make a small pit stop in Burlington as I was keen to try Sunshine Doughnuts (where Billie Jean wasn’t very pleased that she did not get a doughnut for herself).

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And for our last dog-fun outing? A visit to Scarborough Bluffs, which was blissfully quiet and serene on a weekend morning. If you’ve ever met Billie Jean, you can easily tell when she’s having the time of her life, and I know that she felt like she was living her best life on these adventures in the Ford Explorer.

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I took advantage of having the Ford SUV to also do a little exploring of my own, too. Namely, a food adventure. I picked up friends (did you know the Explorer seats six people?) and we headed to Fishmans Lobster Clubhouse, which I have long drooled over when I’ve seen posts of lobster towers on Instagram (and you may recognize the restaurant as it was recently featured on David Chang’s Ugly Delicious). It’s a set menu so my friend in the know insisted we go with a big group of people, so with the Explorer, we were finally able to make our lobster tower dream come true.  And it was so worth it. I can see this becoming an annual trek to Markham.

Fishmans Lobster Clubhouse

I reluctantly returned the Explorer and handed back the keys, but ended our explorations around the city with one happy dog (and one full and happy belly myself). You can check photos on Instagram with the hashtag #FordDogDays! And I’d love your recos of where to go on future outings with this pup!

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Leave a Comment May 1, 2018

Fitness Swellness: Reebok Fast Flexweave

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Marathons are usually my go-to race distance, but what’s this runner doing this spring? Focusing on shorter distances, and I need all the help I can get to go fast.

Running full-out is not my preference. Even though the 42.2k of a marathon is grueling, part of the reason I enjoy them more is the fact that you have to go at a  slower pace, one you can complete that distance in. But with 5k or 10k, you have to go faster (OK, you don’t have to, but when you’re competitive with yourself like I am, you do!).

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Cue the Reebok Fast Flexweave. For my training this spring, I’ve been using this new running shoe. I want technology on my side if I’m aiming to be fast. Its specifically designed for agility and speed. Think quick-burst workouts and speed work…AKA my life right now (…what have I gotten myself into?! I kid, speed work is a necessary evil when you’re training for a marathon, too).

The Fast Flexweave features an upper made of Flexweave, which is an open, figure-8 weave that results in the upper being ultra lightweight. This helps my feet feel weightless and makes it all that much easier to lift my feet and keep on moving forward. Also, there are tailored zones within the Flexweave fabric for extra flexibility and breathability; I love this because running with feet that feel like they’re roasting inside your shoes that feel stiff is so uncomfortable and distracting.

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I prefer a fair bit of cushioning in my shoes, and while these are lighter, they do offer a comfortable amount of stability and durability through the midfoot; I think they strike just the right note in terms of delivering the stability and comfort of the type of sole I usually gravitate toward for a longer run, but in a more nimble and lightweight design for the shorter distance I’m focusing on. And that’s also likely thanks to the design incorporating pressure-mapping technology, so that the Fast Flexweave is flexible where you need it to be and stable where you need it. If only finding a partner to be just precisely flexible and stable when needed were as easy!

Stay tuned as to how my training goes, and I have it on good authority that you may be able to win yourself a pair of Reebok Fast Flexweave yourself! (Keep your eye on this post and my Instagram!)

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UPDATE: You can WIN a pair of Reebok Fast Flexweave!

“Aaaand, you get a pair of Fast Flexweave!” I wish I could be Oprah and give all of y’all a pair…but the good news is I do have one pair of women’s Reebok Fast Flexweave (valued at $130) to give away!  

The giveaway is open to Canadian residents. You can enter in four different ways (enter all four ways as each way counts as an entry — and on Instagram you can enter multiple times!):

INSTAGRAM: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness), and LIKE  the photo related to this giveaway , and then tag friends who could use a pair of Reebok Fast Flexweave themselves. One tag per comment, each tag equals one entry.

TWITTER: Follow me on Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:

I like to go fast! I’d love to #win a pair of @reebokcanada Fast Flexweave from @healthswellness! http://bit.ly/RbkFastFlex #fastflexweave #reebokcanada #bemorehuman #giveaway

FACEBOOK: “Like” the Health and Swellness Facebook page, and reply on the photo on the page — tell me what season is your favourite for running!

BLOG COMMENT: Comment right here on this post and share with me if you prefer to run on a track, the street or trails.

This giveaway is open until 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. The winner will be chosen at random on May 16, 2018 and contacted via the method they’ve entered to provide their shoe size, shipping address and contact info.

Photographer: Sean Pollock, @seanpollock

(sponsored)

 

 


50 Comments April 30, 2018

Beauty Swellness: New and So You at Shoppers Drug Mart (and Giveaway!)

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The New & So You event from Shoppers Drug Mart at Square One in Mississauga just launched this week and is going on until March 18, 2018. I got a chance to check the event on March 12th and if you can carve out some time to pop by, definitely go check it out to see the new products in store at Shoppers Drug Mart.

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The event is a fun way to check out the new products available at Shoppers. First, you do a super quick quiz on a tablet. It asks you about your health and beauty interests and habits. Then the quiz generates your results and you get custom recommendations about which new products will suit what you’re looking for. Interested in some TLC for damaged hair? Or hydrating your skin? Your quiz results will recommend the new products available that’ll offer the beauty benefits you’re keen on.

But you don’t just get a list of recommendations, the products just for you will pop out on the conveyor belt so you can learn more about them, and best of all, you’ll get a bag with your name on it filled with a couple of full-size products, samples and coupons to take home. How fun is that?

I’m always concerned about volume and damage when it comes to my hair (which is both fine and also overworked and dry given I’m constantly shampooing and blow-drying it since I work out regularly) so I was so excited to receive both OGX® Bodifying + Bamboo Fiber Full Body Renew Dry Shampoo and the Love Beauty & Planet™ Hope and Repair® Conditioner to help my hair.

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And don’t forget to enter my Shoppers Drug Mart New & So You Giveaway, in case you missed it. Check my Instagram post from last week for details on how to enter to win a basket of New & So You products! You have until March 18, 2018, to enter. All you have to do is comment on my Instagram about which new products most interest you (check out the new products here!) and also pop by the Square One event this week. I’ll choose a winner the night of March 18th.

Good luck in the giveaway and have fun at the New & So You event!

#sponsored

Leave a Comment March 15, 2018

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