7.29.2016

Bracelet Giveaway!

We are fortunate to collaborate with so many amazing people, and often as a thank you, they gift us with some of their pieces. 

Our friends at Bollare have offered to give away two bracelets valued at $88 to one lucky reader!




How to win:



*Tell us what you'd wear these bracelets with

*Contest is open to Canadian addresses only


Give away closes on July 31 at 11:59 pm and winner will be chosen at random.





Goodluck!

7.28.2016

#TBT

Dress: Nicole Miller

#TBT to my 2010? performance of Prokofiev's second violin concerto. I can't remember what year it was, it's been too long! 

7.24.2016

The Four Seasons Hotel Toronto Spa

The Four Seasons Spa is said to be one of the largest luxury spas in Toronto, with over 30,000 square feet of space. Located at the Four Seasons Hotel on the ninth floor, guests can enjoy the spa services and outdoor terrace view overlooking Toronto. 


I had the opportunity to visit the spa for services, which was a treat. The facilities are classy and spacious, and upon arrival you are brought into the change rooms and assigned a locker filled with a robe and slippers. Since the slippers are already placed in the locker, you may need to request for another size. 

Like many spas, it is encouraged to arrive early to enjoy amenities, and The Four Seasons Toronto Spa features an indoor swimming pool, lounge chairs, a co-ed whirlpool, and steam room. 
The steam room was quite nice and it was clean. This was such a relief as I often find many spa steam rooms with poor upkeep. I also appreciate that here, they provide cold towels in a bucket of ice that you can use with the steaming. The only other spa I've been to with the iced face towels was The Hammam Spa (King West). These cold towels make the steam room experience so much better! I believe you can take some time after your treatment to use the amenities as well and I highly recommend the steam room after a massage. 

I think that overall, one of the best things about this spa was how spacious the facilities are. The lounge areas in the women's change room are big and you can relax there or wait for your services while enjoying complimentary apples, biscottis, water and teas. 

At The FS Spa, there are 17 over-sized treatment suites, and the room I was in was nice and roomy. At other spas I've been to, treatment rooms can be small, but I found this one a nice size. Upon entering the treatment room you will get to choose from 5 varieties of music themes to compliment your service.

At the risk of sounding like a spa snob, you can really tell the difference with the quality of linens at spas. The better quality ones feel so much better, and if the sheets/towels aren't good quality I occasionally experience redness/irritation onmy skin (sometimes they can be abrasive). Here, The FS Spa pampers you with luxurious robes, great massage beds, comfortable slippers, and soft sheets. When a spa spends time paying attention to small details it really makes a huge difference on the experience. 

The FS Spa's aromatherapy massage ($180/60 minutes) begins with a consultation, (most likely only first-time clients) with your massage therapist asking routine questions, such as what areas you'd like them to focus on. You are then given a selection if 4 scented oils, or a non-scented oil to choose from for your treatment. The FS Spa uses a natural blend of vegan oils, all of which have their unique benefits.  
The massage was nice, and the massage therapist was very professional. He targeted my problem areas, as well addressed others, kneading out knots with long strokes and soothing pressure. I personally prefer more pressure with my massages, but because this was an aromatherapy massage. it was more light to medium pressure. For those that prefer more pressure, you may want to try a deep tissue massage. 
I think it's interesting - the different techniques that RMT's use. I find that I've noticed over the years that everyone does things differently. Every massage therapist will do subtle things that make a huge difference. Since I'm not an expert I don't quite know how to explain it, but it doesn't have to do with training. Each experience with a RMT is different! I found that the treatment I experienced he was able to do nice stretching relating to the upper shoulders and neck. The massage was lovely and there is a subtle chime, indicating your treatment is over. (It also happens at the beginning, signaling that your treatment has begun). 

There is no question that this spa is one of the best ones in Toronto (as expected at a Four Seasons Hotel)! But of course, nothing is perfect and there are a few things that I personally felt could've been better. 

- The reception area seems slightly cluttered

- I love a good hair dryer (I recommend using T3s Featherweight or Moroccanoil's MO2000 Professional Serious Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer) and I felt like the hair dryers were outdated.

- The changeroom can get quite busy and loud (of course, the noise level of the clients has nothing to do with how the spa is run and is out of their control)

- With the changeroom being busy I had no problem taking a shower, however I feel like there may be times where you'd have to wait for one.


However, with the changing rooms being quite busy, I was extremely impressed by how everything was kept tidy. There were staff constantly checking to make sure everything was in order, whether it had to do with replenishing towels, filling water, keeping everything clean...To me, cleanliness is one of the most important things when you're at a spa.  
There have been spas I've been to that are considered some of the best in Toronto that have had clumps of hair in the showers, mildewed steam rooms...I was very impressed with how the FS Spa keeps everything clean. 

Overall, my treatment at the Four Seasons Spa was a great experience and I definitely recommend giving it a try. The decor is lovely, upkeep is great, staff is professional, and services are good. I'm definitely curious about how their other services are, though I feel like if you're a new client, the aromatherapy massage is a good first treatment to go with. 

Please note that these opinions are my own and everyone's experience can vary. 

If you're interested in visiting you can visit their website here. The Four Seasons Hotel Toronto Spa is located at: 60 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, Ontario M4W 0A4, Canada

In a few weeks I'll be visiting The Four Seasons Hotel again as I have been invited to attend a class at 889 Yoga's Studio (located in the hotel). I know many of you have been requesting a yoga feature. The wait is finally over!

PCs to Stephen Velasco. You can read an article about him from the Toronto Star here

With love,

Sarah Velasco
Editor

Questions? Comments? We'd love to hear from you. Write us at letters@sarahvelasco.com



7.23.2016

Fairview Mall: Lush Cosmetics


Southwest view of downtown Toronto at Fairview Mall. We can't believe this picture was taken from so far away!

P.S. for those of you that live in the Donmills and Sheppard area, LUSH Cosmetics will soon be open near you! 

lush.ca

7.22.2016

Lacoste

Currently, Lacoste is having their Semi-Annual Sale! Be sure to stop by a store near you or visit online at www.lacoste.ca (Canada)/ www.lacoste.com (USA). 

We love how Lacoste has such classic pieces every season. Here are some of our favorite pieces! 












7.21.2016

Violin Sonata No.3, Op.45 by Edvard Grieg


I had so much fun performing Grieg's Violin Sonata No.3 in Maine. Thank you to everyone that attended the concert!

7.06.2016

Toronto Vegan Food and Drink Festival

Clear your schedules on Saturday August 13th and join us at the annual Toronto Vegan and Drink Festival!

I was invited last year and it was quite a treat to attend. You get to try delicious healthy foods and learn about the latest vegan products. Plus there are some prizes that are up for grabs!


"Join us on August 13th 2016 between 11am - 7pm for the second annual Toronto Vegan Food and Drink Festival, an all vegan experience featuring comfort food, craft brews, wine and spirits!

We know you’re hungry! Our 100% vegan vendors will be announced soon. Expect the cities best, and some out of town surprises, too.

We've doubled our event space, which means were taking over all of Fort York Garrison Common this summer! Double the space means even more awesome vendors and more amazing food!

We are proud to support local vegan artists. Last year we showcased live entertainment by Marico Novelli, Meghan Morrison, Matt Kadovich, Dream Awake, Hot Apollo and Midnight Lemonade! Once again, we are going to showcase local and international vegan talent throughout the festival! Our line up of 2016 performers will be announced soon! "


Tickets are currently available for purchase as of April 15th 2016!

www.vegandrinkfest.com

7.05.2016

The Bowdoin International Music Festival


Thoroughly enjoyed performing the Brahms Piano Trio No.3, Op 101 at Studzinski Recital Hall in Brunswick, Maine. Having the opportunity to collaborate with two amazing musicians was such a treat, and it was so fun to perform such a great work. Thank you to everyone that came out to support us!