7 REASONS WHY I HAD AN UNFORGETTABLE WEEKEND WITH SHOPPERS DRUG MART
One day when I have to think back of all the reasons I do what I do, this amazing weekend with Shoppers Drug Mart is unquestionably going to be at the top of the list.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Well, almost. =)
For infinite reasons really but I’ll share with you, in no particular order, 7 (Because 7 is the lucky number!) of the top reasons and moments on why this incredible SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU weekend with Shoppers, Loblaws, Joe Fresh, Beauty Boutique, President’s Choice and Run for Women is going to be one absolutely unforgettable experience.
Welcome to a room with a view, Andaz Hotel Ottawa, right in the heart of downtown.
From a stunning and generous accommodation at the Andaz Hotel to a personalized beauty and skincare consultation at the Shoppers Beauty Boutique at CF Rideau Centre to a scrumptious dinner and wine at SOCIAL Restaurant on Day 1 and from the exhilarating run (ahem… walk) at the 2018 Run for Women to the delightful private class at the President’s Choice Cooking School inside the massive Loblaws in Barrhaven on Day 2 (wheeew, that list was long!), the Shoppers LOVE.YOU. weekend has health and wellness and self-love written all over it and I so grateful to have been invited.
That said, gratitude is where we’ll start our TOP 7 REASONS WHY I HAD AN UNFORGETTABLE WEEKEND WITH SHOPPERS DRUG MART:
It taught me to be infinitely grateful and at the same time humble. There are hundreds of bloggers and influencers but the fact that I have been chosen to be one of the selected few is such a privilege and that it also makes me recognize the fact that these massive Canadian and international brands trust you to be their ambassador in a way, to relay their message to the public through you is a major sign of trust. And that’s a responsibility I take seriously.
*P.S. A special to shout-out to Light Room Preset creator Rjhay Billones Salvador! I’ve used his LUCKY SO Preset via Lightroom Classroom PH, this amazing community of online on some of the photos in this blog post and I love it! I hope you do too. Follow @rjhaysalvador in Instagram for more LR inspiration!*
Ottawa Life Magazine featured Marilou Moles of Twenty York Street as one of Ottawa’s TOP INFLUENCERS.
EMPOWERING WOMEN TO EMPOWER OTHER WOMEN
When you do something that’s good for both the body and the mind, such as doing yoga or going for a run, it empowers you instantly. When you are doing a race such as Run for Women and you are amongst thousands of men, women and children collectively running for a great cause, it not only lifts the soul but it’s a huge win for women empowerment.
Circle of new friends. Thank you Skechers Canada for the super comfy D-Lites.
TALKING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH
The more we talk about it, the more we erase the stigma associated with mental health. Studies after studies have shown that there’s more of us suffering from mental health illnesses yet most of us are still suffering in silence due to all negative stereotypes related to having depression, stress, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. Taboo subjects such as mental health is still such a hush hush or shhhh… conversation in our society and it’s well beyond the 21st century!
Personally, I suffered and suffer from mental health issues yet it’s not something I have talked about openly to anyone, whether it’s friends or family. In fact, this may be the very first time I’ve ever written these exact words: me too, I have mental health issues.
Sunnies from the new 2018 summer collection at Le Chateau, Coat from ZARA.
That’s why events such as the Shoppers LOVE.YOU. Run is so important as it not only raises money for continued research on improving mental health but it also offers tangible programs and resources for women and their families to improve their mental and overall health and wellness.
Try your personalized beauty consultation at any Shoppers Beauty Boutique today.
PRACTICING BEAUTY FROM INSIDE AND OUTSIDE
Before I became as lifestyle blogger/influencer, I’ve already been obsessed with skincare. I believe in beauty from the inside out. Though I looove make-up, my ultimate goal is a daily I woke up like this kind of skin. I’m in a lifetime pursuit of the ‘perfect’ (for me) skin that’s healthy and glowing from within.
Pre-run Beauty Boutique pampering at the 2018 SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Run for Women.
Fortunately as bloggers, we received a plethora of skincare products to try on. Unfortunately as bloggers, we received a plethora of skincare products to try on. As you obviously have products and make-up on before you can provide credible reviews, it’s not always good news for your skin. Because you tend to try so many products in so little time, the results could sometimes be disastrous.
Therefore, I was really looking forward to having a personalized skincare consultation with a beauty BOUTIQUE Beauty Expert. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we were not able to do an in-depth skin consult and was not able to do a customized skincare plan tailored specifically for my needs. But this is such a wonderful service provided for free at any beautyBOUTIQUE. I highly suggest you take advantage of this service as these beauty experts can help you choose skincare and make-up products that are right for you.
BUILDING STRONGER RELATIONSHIPS
The influencer marketing or blogger industry is not only seen as competitive and cut-throat but it’s also a job done in isolation. Save for blogger events, fashion week and press trips, a lot of the work is done solo whether at home or at some insta-worthy cafés. Hence, anything that brings together bloggers and influencers for a weekend where they can spend meaningful time together (and take impromptu photos of each other, yasss!) is such an amazing way to get to know one another deeper and build stronger ties.
We were an intimate group of 6 Ottawa-based bloggers and every single one of has such a unique look, voice and platform that it’s fascinating to see the different types of content being shared on social media based on the same experiences. Follow these fabulous bloggers for more exciting Shoppers Love. You. coverage: Joudel J. (@Janoskajj), Amira of On Closet Nine (@onclosetnine), Romy of Ymor Beauty (@ymorbeauty), Chantal of Mode XClusive (@TheChantsy) and Katie of YOW City Style (@YOWCityStyle). Check out out more photos of us and our weekend with Shoppes Drug Mart below.
In addition to that, the weekend was also an incredible opportunity to get to know the brands better and build stronger relationship with them. Though it’s my first time ever with the Run for Women (I’ve run the Ottawa Marathon before as one of the Ottawa ‘Celebrities / Personalities’ running for the Distress Centre), I have collaborated with Shoppers, Loblaws, Joe Fresh, Beauty Boutique and President’s Choice in different capacities in the past.
During this weekend, I got to learn more about the brands and even had the chance to try some of their latest collection such as new offerings from the President’s Choice Blue Menu and some new fitness apparel from Joe Fresh, which I wore during race day.
Meet Ms. Julie Dunham, Marketing and Communications Director, Shoppers Drug Mart.
But what I truly appreciated was having both Julie and Jessica physically on site with us for the entire weekend. Yes, they are both Shoppers Drug Mart employees from the corporate office but in many ways, they really are true ambassadors of these major brands, whom they represented so well. They were not only the nicest and friendliest but they are so passionate and knowledgeable of the brands they work for.
(Top) Learning how to zest properly. (Bottom) Le saumon avec quiona chaud, et voila!
LEARNING HOW TO COOK DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS FOOD
After kicking off the morning with a run or walk in the Run For Women 5km, we attended a custom cooking class focused on nutrition, in partnership with the PC Cooking School and the in-store dietitian program at Loblaws.
Aside from the superbly tasteful meals we prepared from tarty and fresh dessert to a fresh and savoury salad to a light salmon lunch served with warm quinoa and a bed of wilted spinach, it’s obvious that the people who works at Loblaws and President’s Choice Cooking School are very passionate and knowledgeable of their craft. I think I speak for everyone when say Chef Mary was an absolute treat. She was a delight to learn from as she tells anecdotes from the old country in Greece, where she draws some of her cooking techniques and inspiration. Chef Mary has a way of engaging you that she not only makes the cooking process look so simple and seamless but also highly entertaining. Emma who manages the school and Bianca, the in-house dietitian are both evidently dedicated to the work they do and they are so sincerely warm and accommodating.
Two of the most passionate staff members at the President’s Choice Cooking School: Chef Mary and Dietician Bianca.
RAISING FUNDS TO BENEFIT WOMEN’S MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM AT THE ROYAL
While the two days of Shoppers LOVE. YOU. weekend featured all the above-mentioned super fun events to support and celebrate women’s health and beauty, one of the main goals is to raise funds from corporate sponsors and from teams of runners or individual runners like you and me.
Runners and walkers, young and old at the 2018 SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Run for Women.
Proceeds from the Ottawa Run benefited the Women’s Mental Health Program at The Royal. Everyone’s participation helped fund innovative, women-centered mental health care, advocacy, research and education and how can you not feel wonderful about that? Thanks to Shoppers and its sister brands Loblaws, Joe Fresh, Beauty Boutique and President’s Choice, I am humbled to have been part of this wonderful event.
My heart is full. I am grateful.
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