Portugal. An Air Transat Story

Hello Loves!

Well it’s been a quick sec, sorry, it’s all because I’ve been traveling the European lands of Portugal, and quite obviously don’t know how to multitask. But I’m sure you forgive me.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the honour of traveling to Portugal with a bunch of kick ass chicks and my fav Air Transat. To be honest I’d never even thought of going to Portugal, it wasn’t on my list! I am incredibly ashamed by this, because Portugal is now on the top of my fav places EVER… haha figures. So I would like to take a quick second, or 27 words to be exact, to obrigado Air Transat for giving me the opportunity to open my eyes and my mind to endless adventures.

Air Transat offers six incredible Portugal packages, so be sure to check them out HERE

Anyway, enough of the blubber, you’re here for the dirt, the see, eat, play… the must do’s of Portugal. Well when flying with Air Transat this all starts with Club Class.

CLUB CLASS

Now I won’t bore you too much here, as I know you’ve heard it all before. But for my love of it and for your refreshment of information… here is all you need to know about Club Class.

VIP BABY! There is no better feeling than getting to the airport and walking straight up to the check in counter. Literally check-in lasts a total of 5 mins! Oh and priority boarding, goodbye commotion and long lines just to get on the plane. I get first dibs, which gives me more time to watch the Real

  • Baggage

Did you just say carry on and TWO checked bags?!! Heck yeah I did. No need to fret about what to pack, bring your whole closet! Why not? I sure did haha.

  • Perks

There is an endless list of perks when flying Club Class, and if the above wasn’t enough here is a couple of extras to make your journey a heck of a lot more comfortable.

1. Welcome cocktail

2. Comfort Kit

3. Complimentary snacks and beverages

4. Gourmet meals by Daniel Vézina

5. Spacious reclinable seats

So now we are sat comfortably in our Air Transat Club Class seats let’s get to the meat of the story, PORTUGAL!

Stay

During our week long excursion we stayed in a variety of hotels scattered across Portugals South-Western coastal region.

Located in the quaint town of Estoril stands this five star beauty. Built in 1930s Palacio Estoril has hosted some of the most important people and can even be recognized the location for starring in the James Bond. I am a HUGE James Bond fan, so I kind of fan girled at this fact. But most importantly the rooms are comfy and relaxing, I even had a view of the Atlantic Ocean from my balcony. This was a beautiful spot to sit with my cup of green tea while I watched the sunset.

The Vidamar Resort in the Algarve was the perfect little treat in our jam packed schedule. Welcoming to couples and families alike. Close enough to the hustle and bustle of Albuferia but far enough to get some much needed R&R. The pool had my name all over it. Its rooms were light and airy and were equipped with everything I needed. The grounds were lush and spacious. I started my days here with a romantic solo sunrise walk along the beach before meeting the girls at the properties extensive breakfast buffet.

Not only is this place a must stay, but it’s also a must see. This National monument is located in an area of Lisbon known as Alto Santo Amaro. As a member of the ‘Leading Hotels In The World’ you know you are destined for a more than fabulous stay. This National Landmark has been home to the likes of David Beckham and Madonna (she actually lived there for 6 months!)… anything good enough for them is more than good enough for me, I also have to admit I totally touched the beds they slept in (no shame in my game). This late 19th Century beauty was formally the home of Marquis Of Valle Flôr… yep he was mad ballin. Fit with a pool, humongous grounds and even a chapel! It opened as a hotel in 2001 with two new wings and 193 beautifully decorated rooms.

  • Extra’s

Although we didn’t get the opportunity to stay in these next hotels, we did get to tour them and they were all just too gorgeous for me not to mention. So as a little bonus here they are…

IMG_3067
IMG_8283
IMG_3075
IMG_8275
IMG_9065 copy
IMG_9076 copy
IMG_9056 copy
IMG_9342 copy

Play

There is so much to do and see in Portugal, from land to sea whatever your fancy Portugal’s got it.

  • Town Of Sintra

The town of Sintra is a must. Full of colourful charm it is the home of numerous palaces and castles, such as Pena Palace (A colour hunting lover like me will find this heavenly), Castle Of Moors, and Monserrate Palace. It also happens to be incredibly Instagrammable! Trust me.

  • Cabo da Roca

Technically still in Sintra, this is also is, you guessed it, a must. Head to the light house and check out the views of mainland Europes westernmost point. In fact until the 14th century it was believed to be the edge of the world. Hah I’m full of knowledge, forget the encyclopedia. But just a quick note it’s really windy up there so make sure you bring a sweater to stay warm.

  • Winery

You can’t come to Portugal and not go to a winery. I am so happy we were able to go to Casa de Santa Vitoria winery, not only are the Santa Vitoria wines delish, I am also obsessed with their winemaker Patricia Peixoto. She is an all female powerhouse working a job that until recently wasn’t available for women. The winery is located on the sprawling grounds of Hotel Vila Galé Clube De Campo, which are BEAUTIFUL. We even enjoyed ‘cata de vino’ which is a Portuguese wine tasting with lunch in the cellars amongst the barrels of aging wines.

  • Boat Tour

When in the Algarve, a boat tour is a MUST! You really don’t have any idea how beautiful and sprawling the coast is until your on the water. Dream Wave Algarve did an incredible job of showcasing just that. We toured the coast, flying above the waves. Although, we weren’t the luckiest with weather that day, it was still unbelievable. We even saw dolphins!!! WILD FREAKING DOLPHINS. I may or may not have cried at this… hey don’t make fun, it was magical.

  • Jeep Tour

From sea to land. Hoping in a jeep is another great way to explore. There is so much to see and do in the Algarves, that heading off road and into the rural areas allows you to see it all. We laughed, giggled and maybe even peed our pants as our tour guides from Extremo Ambiante bounced us around, up the hills to see the views below and back down again to a small town where we got to try locally made honey and jams as well Medronho, a very potent Portuguese liquor. If you haven’t seen my instastories of this tasting yet, stop here and go to my Portugal highlights (@filipajackson), the faces of us trying it are hilarious.

  • Hop On – Hop Off bus

When you’re in Lisbon a hop on – hop off tour bus is a must. Gray Line tours shows you everything Lisbon has to offer, from Estádio da Luz stadium to the Belém quarter. All while storytelling the history of all you pass. Our fav spots to jump off and walk around during this tour was in Belém, it’s such a lovely place to walk around and take pics… especially at the Belém tower.

  • Pastéis de Belém

This place better be at the top of your list. Known for their pastel de nata, this place has been open since 1837! They are the real deal. I was offered so many pastel de nata on this trip, however I held out for Pastéis de Belém. Oh boy was I glad I did… these thing were delish!!!

  • Alfama

Alfama is a must do. Get lost on the higgledy piggledy cobbled stoned streets of the Alfama District of Lisbon. While you’re there take a tour of St. Jorge Castle, it boasts some pretty epic views. We even grabbed a vinho verde from the ‘Wine With A View’ cart (ummm take note Canada this is revolutionary), and watched the sunset over the city.

  • Fado

Going to Lisbon without seeing a Fado show is like going to Italy and not eating pizza… it’s just not right! We checked out an incredible show at Chiado, but there are so many nightly shows scattered across town… especially in the Alfama district.

  • LX Factory

If you’re from the Toronto area you will understand what I mean when I mention the Distillery District, well the LX Factory is a little bit like this… BUT BETTER! Eat, shop, and play all in one historically beautiful area.

  • Time Out Market

So many of you guys messaged me and told me I HAD to go to Time Out Market, and well thank you for telling me to do so. Although, this could also fit under the category of EAT, even if you’re not hungry I think you gotta check this place out. As soon as you walk into this bustling market you are greeted by the scent of delicious eats and treats. I’ve even heard that this place becomes a concert venue some nights too, oh man it would be awesome to see a show there.

Like I said there is so much to do in Portugal and I’ve just scraped the top, if you have time be sure to also check out…

The National Tile Museum, Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha, Mercado de Campo de Ourique, Loreto Underground Gallery.

IMG_2985
IMG_2996
IMG_2945
IMG_3060
IMG_3095
IMG_3085
IMG_3145
IMG_8347

IMG_8370
IMG_8609
19C6E24D-2B7A-4FAC-8F2C-30FC739846F6
IMG_9423 copy
IMG_8900 copy
IMG_9512 copy
IMG_8951 copy
IMG_9310 copy
IMG_9298 copy
IMG_9454 copy
IMG_9570 copy
IMG_9137 copy

Eat

Food for me really brings the whole trip together. In order to immerse myself into the culture I have to see, smell, and taste. Portugal was amazing for really great food. There was so much that if I go through them all then this would need to be a completely separate blog post. So for the purpose of saving time, and my poor fingers (from typing) here are a few of my favs.

For a great dinner and an incredible view of the city this is where you need to be. I can’t rave about it enough. Before demolishing a three course dinner of scrumptious delights, we checked out their rooftop bar for some pre dinner drinks… add this to your list!

If you know me, then you know I’m a sucker for brunch. Dear Breakfast was the cutest little place in Lisbon, nestled amongst gorgeous quaint buildings and cobbled stoned streets. Totally recommend the avocado toast at this one.

  • Park Bar

Ok so to be honest with this one I can’t really chat about the food because I didn’t have any. For this stop it was all about drinks and views. It also has a crazy cool location. Placed on the rooftop of a parking lot… yep a parking lot, you can drink, dine and watch the sun go down over the city.

If you’re looking for a place for a cheap breakfast then this is it! With avocado toast for €5 you seriously can’t go wrong.

This quirky and quaint location was one of my favs. As soon as you walk in you know you’re going to have a great time. The candles are all lit, the smell of delicious eats envelop the room, and the decor is warm and welcoming. Haha it sounds like I am writing a romantic novel, but it’s true O Patio is such a beautiful restaurant and a great place for a date night.

Also check out:

Ramires, Restaurante Mato à Vista, Don SebastiaoPopuliBrasserie l’entrecoteAlbatroz Hotel Restaurant, London Tiger Coffee,

IMG_8362
IMG_9358 copy
IMG_8626
IMG_8787
IMG_9521 copy
IMG_9795
IMG_9078 copy
IMG_9587 copy

Our seven night trip to Portugal with Air Transat was incredible. It was so incredible that Sameer actually flew over to meet me for a few days. I showed him all the beauty I had seen before, the second time around, still leaving me in awe. I was so sad to leave this beautiful country, but happy to know I had found a new place to love. A place to come back to. I promise that you will fall in love with Portugal as much as I did.

I would also like to take a minute to shout-out my gorgeous travel squad Lauren, Ver, Alex, Ely, and Karolane. They are all so creative and beautifully unique.

 To book your trip with Air Transat, click here.

 xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

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

This incredible Portugal trip was all thanks to Air Transat. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things – Biossance

Hello Loves!

With fall comes, pretty trees, pumpkin spiced lattes, and dry crusty skin. The last point is where my loves, Biossance comes in. You guys know that over the past year I have been raving about Biossance and I’m sorry but it’s not going to end anytime soon. Biossance is changing the way we do beauty: clean, sustainable, no BS skincare.

There are so many products I love from Biossance extensive line, but when it comes to the changing weather, here are just a few beauties that will be saving my life this fall.

SQUALANE + PEPTIDE EYE GEL

This little beauty is on Sephora’s best seller list, and for good reason… it’s always sold out!! If you can get your hands on this miracle serum DO, it’s literally a god sent. I was one of those people that no matter how much concealer I cake under my eyes, I looked like I haven’t slept for an entire year. The Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel brightens, and tightens my under eyes leaving me looking like I actually had a good night’s sleep. This is all because of its incredible list of ingredients… Squalane, your moisturizing warrior, eyeseryl and argireline, which helps with those stubborn dark circles, swiss apple stem cell extract, which helps to leave your skin younger looking.

PURCHASE HERE

SQUALANE + PHYTO-RETINOL SERUM

I mentioned the Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum in my last Biossance post, and I’m still staying true to my word… This serum is revolutionary, a must have to your skincare routine. I even wear this during the day under my sunscreen. It’s literally botox in a bottle… seriously! Over the past two months of using this baby I have gone from looking 21 to 16 (I’m 28)!! Haha I was actually asked while I was in Ottawa for Canada Day if I was 16, funny thing is I was with my brother who is 15!!! Not to boast but I must say my skin is looking pretty ageless. The stubborn line I had forming right across my forehead… GONE! This is all thanks to bakuchiol a powerful plant-derived alternative to retinol, capable of turning back time on your skin, smoothing wrinkles, diminishing dark spots and giving us that soft clear skin we all desire, all without the harsh side effects of traditional retinol.

PURCHASE HERE

SQUALANE + OMEGA REPAIR CREAM

This little beauty is new to my skin care regime and it quickly becoming one of my favs! You guys know I suffer from dry skin and have tried everything under the sun to permanently delete those stubborn flakes (sorry TMI). Well the Squalane + Omega Repair Cream is the icing on top of the cake to combating my dry skin dilemma. This none greasy, rich cream moisturizes your skin from deep inside. Filled with good fats, also known as lipids, this gorgeous pot of gold mimics your skins natural moisture barrier. My skin has taken on a complete transformation, I can now go makeup free with confidence thanks to my new soft, plump and dewy complexion.

PURCHASE HERE

The quest for great products shouldn’t be that hard, and thanks to Biossance it really isn’t. They are a one stop shop for all things incredible.

All Biossance products are available for purchase at Sephora or on their website (for US residents).

    

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

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

 

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

Follow me on Instagram

@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

IMG_1004
IMG_1042

IMG_1147
IMG_1175

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.

IMG_0422
IMG_0657

IMG_0698
IMG_0673

Play

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!

IMG_0541
IMG_0627
IMG_0642
IMG_0492

IMG_0461
IMG_0425
IMG_0301
IMG_0413
IMG_0311
IMG_0249

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.

IMG_0655
IMG_0654






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!!!

IMG_0727
IMG_0729

IMG_0828
IMG_0841

Play

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.

IMG_0741
IMG_0801
IMG_0735
IMG_0745

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!

IMG_0730
IMG_0734
IMG_0845
IMG_0846

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

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

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