Finding Who I am

Hello Loves!

This year has been a tough one, for numerous reasons. The main one being a little too raw to talk about right now, so I won’t go into depth. But with these hardships there is a light, I am finding out who I am… who would have thought!

I have never been alone. Sameer and I have been together since we were 16! I went from my parents straight to him. Although I wouldn’t change this for the world, I don’t think I ever truly got to know myself. Everything was ‘ours’, ‘we don’t like’, ‘we love’. I never really knew what made me tick. Even my career was decided for me. At a very young age I became responsible for the family business. In fact I had to make a really hard choice with that and give the duties of the family business to Sameer, so I could focus on what I love… THIS!

THIS, social media, blogging has changed me, I’ve becoming confident, organized (kinda), and even more involved with the community. But with the likes and follows that comes with this I never really had to take a hard look in the mirror.

With all that has happened, or should I say hasn’t happened this year, I have seen a side to me that I don’t particularly like. My anger and sadness turned to self hate and even worse… frustration towards others. Even though I haven’t really figured all of this out yet, I acknowledging that everything happens for a reason. I needed to get to know myself, to go deeper inside myself, to a place I never wanted to go. I needed to have tough conversations with Sameer, to test our relationship and come out stronger than before. I needed to be transparent with my family, to push our relationship out of it’s routine. To push my relationship with my father, to cry in his arms… to talk about something other than work.

Even though I have spent most of my days in a puddle of my own tears, I wouldn’t change a second. Crazy right! Well, because through hardships come the light. A bigger more beautiful outcome than what you were looking for, you just need to be open and accepting.

So don’t feel like you have to control a situation or outcome, chances are it will never go in your favour. Trust me that was a hard pill to swallow. But try to enjoy the bumpy ride. There is always a silver lining. I promise.

Kisses x

xoxo Fil

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@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

Getting TIFF Ready with Aeroplan!

Hello Loves!!

Well what can I say?!? Aeroplan you are my one true love, my travel companion, and best friend. HAHA, Ok that got weird! But seriously, I don’t think I have come across a company that has made me feel so cool or like a part of the club.

Sameer and I have been avid collectors of Aeroplan miles. We basically make purchases we would normally make else where, but with Aeroplan partners. This gives us a huge boost in points every month. Notice how we travel so much? Aeroplan usually has our back when booking flights on miles. It’s so simple and easy.

But when I heard about this new way to earn miles, my inner shopaholic was thrilled. Even Sameer was on board! YES! So Aeroplan has this online portal where you can shop through their eStore and gain all sorts of miles. Now, I don’t mean at your local gas stations or car rental agencies. This is truly most online stores you normally shop at anyways.

I know, I know, let’s just take a breather.

Ohh and massive bonus! From Sept 4-16, you can earn up to 5X the normal miles during their Fall Fashion Event. OMG!! So many miles!!!

So after learning about this myself, I went straight to the calendar and thought about what events are coming up that I need a bad ass outfit for. I realized TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) is just around the corner. What better way for me to give Aeroplan eStore a whirl. So I grabbed my cup of tea and my fluffy companion Coal and got to shopping. Who knew that so many of my favourite stores were available. Anthropologie, REVOLVE, and ASOS ohh my! I pretty much had my pick of the litter when it came to finding to my red carpet ready look. Watch out Keira Knightely, there’s another stylish Brit in town.

I’m serious guys, being a avid online shopper, this Aeroplan eStore totally gets me. When searching for my TIFF outfit I simply typed a store that I was looking for and boom, through a simple click I was on the retailers site. What’s the retailer you may ask?!? TOPSHOP via Hudsons Bay! I picked up this perfect multi-coloured skirt with a simple pink knit tee, exactly what I needed for this rapidly changing weather (see pics below). There’s also a scrumptious pair of red pumps on ASOS that have been playing on my mind. In fact, I think I’ll get those too, cause why not!

There are hundreds of retailers on the Aeroplan eStore that are destined to fill your fancy, from electronics, to home goods, skincare and clothing, shopping will never be the same. I mean why would it. Earning Aeroplan miles that could go towards my travels, just for purchasing things that I need… or don’t need, WANT! It’s just logic. So remember, next time you want to get your retail therapy fix, click through the Aeroplan eStore. Trust me, you’ll thank me when you’re on some tropical island.

Remember this up to 5X the miles event is only on for a limited time and ends September 16th. So go get your shopping on! In fact, I’ll race you there!!

CLICK HERE TO SHOP THE AEROPLAN eSTORE

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xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

The TRUE North! – Our Visit to Temagami & Killarney

Hello Loves!

You guys know that we’ve got the travel bug!! We’ve got it real bad!! When I’m home for even a few days, I go a little stir crazy. Yeah I know weird right! Sometimes I forget that I live in one of the biggest travel destinations. No I’m not talking about Toronto, this time some place a little quieter and a lot more gorgeous.

Just a short 3.5 hour drive away lays endless rivers, lush forests, the true Canadian North, Temagami and Kilarney. Or quicker still hop on a flight from Toronto and in as little 40 minutes you’ll be Sudbury. That simple!

Temagami

Our adventure started as soon as we jumped in the car, the drive up North is seriously stunning. Thankfully I had SD cards galore, and old Tripod Bob on board to help us document every single tree and lake we passed. After a breezy 3.5 hours we arrived to Temagami. Although I had ZERO clue how to pronounce the name, I quickly fell in love with this town. Home to around 800 people Temagami is the perfect city escape.

Stay

Located on Lake Temagami lays the newly renovated Temagami Shores, the place you want to stay. Owned and operated by the Wagner family, you are welcomed with open arms. You will feel like part of the family. The property features clean and friendly rooms and suites with stunning lake views that compliment the nature that surrounds you. The lake is definitely the heart of the property. Waking up to a gorgeous sunrise, you undoubtedly feel the urge to jump right in. Actually, at 8 in the morning, we saw a family from New York grab their kit and dive in. Darn, I wish I had my camera handy. In fact, families from all over the world stay at Temagami Shores, they’re INTERNATIONAL ya’ll.

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Although, Temagami is the perfect place to sit lake side with a cold brew, it also is the place to get out and explore. There is so much to do! We had the opportunity to test and try… I gotta make sure it’s safe, right! Haha. We started our day the only way I think everyday should begin, by checking out the world from above. Thankfully we had pilot Darren from Lakeland Airways for that. We all jumped into his 6 seater Beaver floatplane and set off for the clouds! Now let me tell you guys, if flying in a floatplane isn’t on your bucket list, then stop whatever you’re doing and add it. It’s one of the most epic experiences I have ever had. Seeing this scenic area from the sky made it that much more magical.

Trails, bikes, canoes ohh my! Temagami has such an extensive list of beautiful walking and biking trails. Only minutes away from our motel was a stunning hike through the woods to Temagami Fire Tower. Set atop of Caribou Mountain, is a lookout like no other, trust me you guys will get some insta-worthy shots from up here. Stretching 100 feet in the air, for those whose legs allow them to make the climb, a reward of 360° views of the horizon out on all sides lays ahead. For those of you who aren’t destined to climb, a viewing deck only a few feet away from the tower gives a less intimidating but equally as beautiful view.

After a fun filled day, we were thrilled to end it on a boat, our favourite activity. HAHA, yeah we’re boujee like that! Following much of what we saw from the sky, travelling through the lakes gave us a different perspective. Lake Temagami, in Ojiwa language, actually means “deep water”, it’s so crazy to think in some areas the depth can get down to 350 ft. Man that’s a lot of football fields haha!

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Eat

Phew! You betcha, after all that, we definitely worked up an appetite. When it came to dinner, luckily we didn’t have to venture far. 10 steps from our room, Temagami Shores, had us covered. In their newly renovated restaurant, we were sure to find some great quality food at affordable prices.

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Killarney

Next on the agenda, Killarney! We’ve heard many tales of our friends heading up to this outstanding little town, but have never visited ourselves. Boy was it a treat! During our 3 hour drive from Temagami, we got to see so many lakes, rivers, and trees for days. But our best sighting was that some of these beautiful forests had begun to change colour. I can only imagine what this will look like in the Fall.

Stay

Arriving at the Killarney Mountain Lodge, you definitely get the resort vibes. This place is beautiful. Situated along the Killarney Channel, the lodge boasts some the greatest views in town. After their multi-million dollar renovation, the rooms still stayed true to their northern style but offered a modern flair. Also currently under construction, is the worlds largest log convention centre, so if there are any brides out there, you heard it here first. This is where you want to get married!!!

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The Killarney area is known best for Killarney Provincial Park. Here you can find trails for days!! But after our Temagami hikes, I opted for a slower pace. We were able to rent kayaks on the Killarney Mountain lodge property which we paddled to a lighthouse… I know it was as magical as it sounds.

After, we took advantage of the summer heat by sunbathing and lounging beside the lake and pool. I also wanted to take a peek at Killarney a little more, so we wandered off resort to the main street. There we found people from all different places relaxing and exploring. Before lunch we went to check out Pierre AJ Sabourin, an incredible Canadian artist. He is located in the most intriguing historic building. Cell Block Nine, the old jail. Pierre was gracious enough to show us around, even allowing us to get into what would have been a actual jail cell! Trust me I’m on the straight and narrow after that.

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Eat

With all the ‘hard work’ of the day we had quite the appetites. Lunch was on our minds. Herbert’s Fisheries here we come! Herbert’s, supposedly the world’s famous fish and chip shop definitely lived up to the hype. It was freshly caught pickerel from only a few miles away. Lightly battered with some salty chips, what more could a English lass ask for.

After a couple of cocktails in the Carousel Lounge, the lodges super cool circular bar, we headed to their main dining hall. Although, we opted to eat outside on this beautiful day, we were still greeted by great staff and ohh so fresh food. My favourite was the smoked trout! MMM MMM Good!

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We’ve travelled to many places, but there is just something about North Eastern Ontario that’ll always bring you back. We’ve heard so many stories of people coming up here for generations. From tourists to locals, old memories are past down and new memories are created, and everyone leaves with a piece of the true north in their heart. I know I did and I know I’ll be back!

Thanks North Eastern Ontario Tourism for having us. It was truly a pleasure!

xoxo Fil

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@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

The Four Seasons Nevis

Hello Loves!

You guys all know that I am such a massive fan of The Four Seasons brand. So much so that I totally fan girled over Isadore Sharp at a FS event in Toronto last year. He was humble and kind and it made me fall in love with the luxury hotel chain even more. So when I had the opportunity to visit their location in Nevis I shrieked!

Now you have to forgive my ignorance and lack of geography here (I never really did well in school), but I didn’t even know that Nevis even existed! Ugh so shameful I know. But after one google search I was already in love. Nevis is just a hop skip and a boat ride away from St.Kitts (phew I know that one), and is home to a small 11,000 … seriously there are more monkeys on this Island than people.

Location:

Anyway, lets get to the cake of the matter (is that even a saying haha), the fabulous property of The Four Seasons Nevis. We arrived in St.Kitts and were greeted by a driver at the airport who took us to a seaport… yes darling it’s only the best as soon as you step off the plane. At the port we boarded a cute little boat that would take us to The Four Seasons property. On the boat we listened to some tunes, drank cold and refreshing beers, all while taking in the incredible landscape. Such an amazing start to our trip.

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Arrival:

Just when I thought it couldn’t get more ballin, after our boat ride into Nevis, we hopped off and were greeted by a golf cart and driver… which we would shortly find out was ours for the duration of our trip! The golf cart not the driver haha. Anyway, we pulled up to our home away from home which if you haven’t seen it already, you probably should PAUSE here and go check out my highlights of the most EPIC ROOM TOUR EVER!! It’s under the header Nevis. But I can’t even begin to explain how FREAKING INCREDIBLE this place was… actually let me try.

Villa:

Yep you read that right, not room, but VILLA! I don’t think in all my 28 years I have ever stayed in a more beautiful place. This was an experience fit for a King and Queen… ha I guess they got the memo about our recent crowning *winky face. You walk into the most beautiful courtyard, basically this was enough for me… leave me by the cute little water feature and I would be content. To the right of the courtyard you have a massive family space, with huge cathedral ceilings and perfectly white interior (instagram friendly). This space houses a tv area, dining room, and humongous kitchen (my whole house could fit in this room). Oh and outside… a bbq with a massive dining table and the most immaculate private pool with an INSANE view of Nevis peak… it was even more magical than I’m describing it… there are literally NO WORDS!

Anyway back to the villa tour, we have a lot to cover. Now to the left of the courtyard is where the magic happens… 3 times!! Ok maybe I should explain this lol. There is not 1 not 2 but 3 freaking bedrooms!! All with their own humongous bathrooms… 2 of which have beautiful outdoor showers too! Oh and I haven’t even mentioned the walk in closet of my dreams. I knew dreams do come true.

The villas are such a great way to do a family trip, housing 6 people if not more. I actually really want to go back with my entire family, I think it would be the most epic trip… and we would have plenty of room to avoid each other if need be (you know how families are).

But if you are planning to go with a smaller group, The Four Seasons Nevis has 179 guest rooms that are all beautifully decorated.

BOOK YOUR FOUR SEASONS NEVIS STAY HERE

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Grounds:

Although, we spent a majority of our time lounging around our villa and doing the keke dance with the golf cart (hope you saw my instastories), we were able to take a peek around the grounds… and they are gorgeous. Boasting three pools, four restaurants, business centre, three lounges, and spa… which I will get back to later, there is definitely plenty to do. I also want to note that The Four Seasons Nevis is super family friendly, with lots of activities for the kids to do, like… a playground, sandcastle building, cooking classes, games and most incredibly sea turtle education!! What?! Yes… how amazing is that!

Golf Course:

Leading off of the whole grounds tour, I should mention that The Four Seasons Nevis has their very own 18 hole par-71 (whatever that means lol), golf course nestled in the lush and dramatic tropical landscape. I spoke to a couple of guys that said it was the best golfing experience they have ever had… so I guess it’s good.

Spa:

I told you I was getting back to this. The spa is surrounded by incredible views of the Nevis Peak and offer everything from waxing to what we did… ‘Spa Under The Stars’. We enjoyed a private spa experience (we had the spa to ourselves! No one else was there). It all started with a the most amazing 60 min Nevisian couples massage, after that we were given a bottle of wine of our choice and were left to enjoy the thermal experience of hot and cold pools all under the twinkling light of the stars. This package also includes a dinner however we had kitchen stocked with food that we had to get through. Once our fingers were wrinkly from the pools we heading back to the changing rooms only to be greeted by a path of beautiful rose petals and flickering candles. Again this is another experience that is too wonderful to even explain properly.

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Activities:

Where-ever we travel it’s important for Sameer and I that we leave our accommodations to explore and experience the country. One of the ways we did this was by going on a tour with the funniest and most informative lady I have ever met… Hillary my girl, who was coincidentally kinda from Leeds! Come on Leeds! We had the best afternoon exploring the gorgeous island of Nevis while learning all that there possibly is to learn. Like cursing in public is against the law! These people are polite y’all.

Another great way to get to know the people is to head to Sunshine’s Bar. Down the beach from The Four Seasons Nevis (it’s literally a 4 min walk) is the cutest and most colourful bar ever, enjoy a ‘Killer Bee’ (this drink is deadly… I found out the hard way) or two amongst locals and tourists alike. The food is delicious, the music is pumping, and the people are the most friendliest people I have EVER met… I even left making a couple more friends, that’s how nice everyone is.

But the best thing is that even after being open for 24 years, Sunshine is still there working his little heart out. Even after serving the likes of John Travolta, Oprah, Meryl Streep and Queen B herself (the list goes on and on), he is still humble… so humble that he even let me take a picture with him. This is a must for your Nevis adventures.

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The Four Seasons Nevis:

I beg you to go to Nevis, it is a untouched paradise. Like this is literally where celebrities go to escape the world… and escape they do. It’s a beautiful place to go to have a quiet time or have fun with family and friends. The Four Seasons Nevis welcomes anyone and everyone with open arms and smiling faces. You are destined to have the most magical memorable trip. Not only will The Four Seasons Nevis hold a big part of my heart, but it will also be my go to travel destination forever. I am counting down the seconds until I am back there.

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BOOK YOUR FOUR SEASONS NEVIS STAY HERE

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

Being Sustainable With Biossance

Hello Loves!

We all get upset when we hear about a cosmetic/skincare company testing on animals. But why don’t we get mad when the skincare still hurts animals and our planet after they are used? Why?… because we are all blissfully unaware, or just don’t care. But what if I told you your fav skincare line, is not only poisoning your body but is also killing our planet? By washing the long list of harmful chemicals that exist in these products down the drain we are poisoning our land and our precious animals. Oh and don’t even get me started on the packaging!!

But skincare doesn’t have to be all bad. There is a way to get that flawless celebrity skin without being harmful. You guys all know how much I love Biossance. I have been using their line for a few months now and each day I fall more and more in love with their products and brand. Not only does Biossance offer an extremely intelligent line of 100% nontoxic products (many that are plant-based), that seriously guys are completely skin changing, they are revolutionizing the way we do sustainable. Did you know that Biossance sources their magical squalane ingredient from naturally renewable sugarcane, watered with natural rainfall. But they didn’t stop there, their outer packaging is also tree free!! It’s made from sugarcane paper, and of course their iconic bottles are made of recycled or recyclable glass or plastic.

The older I get the more beauty products I am consuming, gotta combat those wrinkles! My holy grail to avoid those dreaded age lines were products that contained retinol…. oh boy I loved my retinol. That was until my skin started reacting to it, becoming dry, itchy, and red! What I didn’t know was that the supposedly miracle ingredient was doing long term damage to my skin. So you could imagine how quickly eliminated that from my daily regimen.

Still worrying about my inevitable wrinkles, I was thrilled to learn that my bestie Biossance had come out with a retinol alternative, Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum. This truly miracle serum is packed with incredible ingredients that give you the positive results of retinol without the side effects.

Bakuchiol: A plant-derived retinol alternative. Reducing wrinkles and firming skin.

100% Squalane: You guys know I love this ingredient. Squalane moisturizes my skin, leaving me with a healthy glow.

Neroli: An natural essential oil, that calms your skin.

Yeast Extract: Used to improve the texture of your skin.

Niacinamide: A vitamin B3, which helps improve my skin tone (lord knows I need that) and restores my skin barrier.

Hyaluronic Acid: Plumps and smooths the skin by instantly binding 1000x its weight in water. See I wasn’t lying when I said that it’s a miracle serum. Combined with my beloved 100% Squalane Oil, which adds that extra moisture… it really is a beautiful dynamic duo, like Thelma & Louise (without the driving off a cliff part).

But swinging back to the point of this post, sorry I got a little distracted, Biossance got me thinking about my own sustainability and how I can improve my footprint beyond my skincare. Sameer and I are already very conscious about lowering our energy usage.

We do this by…

* Running our laundry and dishwasher once a week and always after 7pm

* Using all natural cleaning products

* Changed all our bulbs to energy efficient ones

* Invested in a Nest thermostat that allows us to control our usage and even set it to an energy efficient mode

There are so many other ways that we can keep ourselves sustainable, in fact we plan to take on the challenge a little bit more by attempting to grow our own GMO free produce. Although I don’t have green thumb whatsoever, it will be fun to watch what we created grow… Sameer has also made the switch to Biossance, and so far he is LOVING it!

SHOP THE PHYTO-RETINOL SERUM

SHOP BIOSSANCE HERE

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer