The Future of TV: Shaw BlueSky TV



I’ll admit it: I’ve never had cable. Ever since I left home at 17 (!!!), I’ve gotten my media content online or at the movie theater. It was a deliberate choice, as I’ve always viewed TV as a very time-consuming, inefficient way to get entertainment.

You see, I’d get excited about watching TV every time I’d be in a hotel because some content just isn’t available online - only to end up scrolling endlessly through the channel guide, getting lost and confused, watching too many commercials and giving up after realizing I had wasted a whole hour trying to figure out what to watch.

That’s where BlueSkyTVcomes in. I have to say, I was a bit skeptical at first. Can TV really be made better? Isn’t TV so 2000’s?

Well, my friends. I was wrong.

The good folks at Shaw managed to create a tool that makes TV-watching fun, easy, to the point and exciting!

I have so many good things to say about it, I think I’ll go with a list of pros and cons to make things easy for you:


PROS

1- the remote!!! No more jumping between Xbox controllers, TV remote, pressing the wrong buttons. This remote is so intuitive you can TALK to it (and yes it works with our French accents). And it lights up when you pick it up which is AWESOME when you’re watching TV in the dark. The LAST button is especially useful.

2- the integration of platforms. Everything is available in one spot, even CraveTV, On Demand and Netflix. Want to binge watch Gilmore Girls and don’t feel like browsing the Netflix menu for hours? Just ask the remote! Even better - you feel like watching a Meg Ryan movie but don’t know which one? Just ask “Movies with Meg Ryan” and they’ll pop up!

3- the various apps: whether you want to know the weather or sports stats, it’s all there. Change the channel and you don’t need to reach for your phone.

4- the Kids Zone. A perfect, easily accessible world of content tailored to your little ones. No more browsing for 30 minutes before you can enjoy an episode of Daniel Tiger with your littlest. And if you happen to leave the remote with your child, you know they will be safely contained to a zone with kid-appropriate content.

5- the accessibility. You can customize it, tailor it to your needs and have great content easily available at all times. It even offers suggestions based on what you watched. So if you only have one hour of free time, you can enjoy it to the fullest. It is also an amazing option for seniors or people with impaired vision.


CONS

1- glitches. We’ve had some technical issues that were quickly resolved by Shaw’s great customer service. No wait times and agents so friendly by email I almost wanted to call them (but not really). So yes, our box did need more reboots than I had expected, but a quick reset did the trick and all my settings were saved.

2- I wish Prime video was integrated, but we still have to hop onto our TV’s smart system for that.

3- Voice searching has its limits. If I ask for “Disney movies”, I get an error message. But to be fair, it’s overall very good, you just have to be specific.


As you can see, the pros largely outweigh the cons (and I have more pros, I just don’t want to overwhelm you!).

I’ve had BlueSky TV for 3 months now and I honestly feel like I haven’t had enough time to explore it all - the possibilities are endless and it made me a believer that TV doesn’t have to be a time-wasting, outdated activity.


This post was sponsored by Shaw. As always, the thoughts and opinions in this article are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting my sponsors and me.

Take a stand against bullying with the Shaw Kindness Sticks Grant program + Tips on how to deal with bullying as a parent




As a mom of a 3-year-old little boy and stepmom of two teenagers, bullying is definitely on my mind - how to talk about it, how to deal with it, how to protect them from it, and how to make sure they’re not participating in it. 

This year, Shaw launched a campaign to help children take a stand and make a difference in their school. The Shaw Kindness Sticks Grant program is an opportunity for children to come up with an idea to make kindness stick in their school and receive up to $5,000 to make it happen when they apply before April 30th. So, start the discussion at the dinner table tonight, talk about what you can do, what they can do, and what we can do as a society to make kindness stick.



LEAD BY EXAMPLE - this is the most important rule, really. If you don’t want your children to have a negative impact on society, make sure you have the right attitude at home. Don’t gossip, don’t judge, don’t make fun of people. And if you can’t help it, make sure to do it behind closed doors when the kids are asleep.


COMMUNICATE - talk. Making sure your children can talk to you is essential, so make sure to communicate with them. When they grow up, children can be a little more closed off, so don’t be overbearing - just make sure they know they can talk to you if they need. And if/when they do, LISTEN. Actually listen when they tell you how their day went. Watch out for alarming incidents, give them coping advice, make sure they are equipped to deal with school drama. You can rationalize things and give advice, but make sure you don’t belittle them or what they tell you or they could shut themselves down. Some things may seem ridiculous to us grownups, but friendships, fallouts and school socializing in general is your kid’s whole life at the moment, so it is most definitely not ridiculous to them.

 

MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT ALONE - while some children prefer being on their own, having a buddy at school makes them less of a target for bullies. Let them have their alone time at home, where they are safe. Make sure your child also has at least one adult they trust at school, in case they need to talk, or report an incident.

 

MONITOR - the Internet is one of the number one places where bullying happens, so being vigilant about what your child puts online is important. Set some rules (our children can’t have a Facebook account until they are 13, and they have to add us as friends so we can make sure they don’t post anything inappropriate). When/if they do post something inappropriate, have a conversation about it. Try not to make it a fight. Come prepared (you can use real life examples that are easily available in the news, etc.). It’s impossible to monitor everything - and it’s important for children to have privacy - but it’s also important for them to know that whatever’s public or semi-public has to be appropriate, whether they posted it themselves or it was posted by someone else.



BE KIND - in order to make sure your child is not the bully, encourage kindness whenever possible. One simple life lesson is to treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s never too early to start having that conversation, either. Try to give them simple mantras of good values: sharing is caring, hitting is bad, etc.

 

TAKE A STAND - encourage your children to help others. That means reporting incidents they may have witnessed, or talking to a friend in need of support. You can also encourage your child to participate in the Shaw Kindness Sticks Grant program to help fund their idea to promote inclusivity and spread kindness at their own school.


For more information on the Shaw Kindness Sticks Grant program, click here.


This post was sponsored by Shaw. Thank you for supporting my sponsors and me.

Beauty: bareMinerals BarePro Concealer Review

I have a love/hate relationship with concealer. I love it as a product because - who doesn't? but I'm also often disappointed by formulas that crease, look cakey or just don't perform. 

I was in one of my many "no great concealer at the moment" phases when I received the new BarePro™16-hour full coverage concealer by bareMinerals. I got to testing right away and have been using it long enough to share my thoughts with you. 


What I like/look for in a concealer

While I'm totally comfortable walking around or even going to work without a stitch of makeup on, I do love concealer. I use it under my eyes, on the sides of my nose where I have a lot of redness, on blemishes, and sometimes I'll even use concealer on its own, without foundation, to camouflage imperfections while keeping things minimal. 

I usually prefer liquid concealers because I feel like they are easier to blend, and I have more control. I also dislike putting my finger in a little concealer jar (I typically prefer blending concealer with my fingers). They're also not as cakey - but that comes with a price, as they are not as full-coverage. 





Meant to be lightweight, highly pigmented and creamy, this concealer claims to have a crease-proof, waterproof formula that lasts all day.
It is enriched with antioxidant-rich raspberry seed oil, blackcurrant seed oil and sea lavender to help nourish, improve, hydrate and protect the skin. 
It comes in a stick format, comes in 15 shades and retails for $30 CAD.



What I like about the BarePro™concealer:

- the packaging is sleek, convenient, and makes application mess-free and easy
- the formula glides onto the skin without feeling greasy: it almost feels like a cream-to-powder formula that has the perfect amount of pigment, and the perfect balance of texture: not too liquid, not too greasy. It is on the drier side once applied (hence its amazing staying power) so I suggest working quickly and blending with your fingers
- the coverage is absolutely fantastic and lasts well on my combination skin
- it barely creases! I would be lying if I said it didn't crease at all. A 100% crease-free concealer does not exist unless you don't move, talk, smile or breathe - but out of all the concealers I've tried, this one creased the least (and, yes, I've tried it without powder and it didn't crease much then either)

What I don't like about the BarePro™concealer:

Humm... nothing? Full-disclosure, I have yet to try Tarte's cult Shape Tape concealer and see how it compares to the BarePro, but so far, this is probably the best concealer I've ever tried. And I've tried a lot. 


* These products were sent to me complimentary for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Book Review: The Queen of Hearts, by Kimberly Martin





I'll be honest. I was a bit prejudiced against this book and did not have high expectations. I think it may have been the title? "The Queen of Hearts" sounded a little cliché, a little easy to me. But I couldn't resist the beautiful cover and gave it a go anyway.

And I'm glad I did!

I won't try and paraphrase the story with my own blurb - instead, here is the official synopsis:

Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they're happily married wives and mothers with successful careers--Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years. 


As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie's life--both professionally and personally--throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick's unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.


I was surprised at how slowly the story first developed. Having read my fair share of "easy" mystery novels, they tend to hook you from the get go, making it impossible to put the book down. Their downfall is the writing, which I usually find to be subpar. 

I was expecting that to be the case for The Queen of Hearts - but I was wrong. It wasn't until I was two thirds in that I felt the need to binge and stayed up way too late to finish the book. 

However, a slower beginning doesn't mean a boring beginning for Kimberly Martin's first novel. She writes well, and what she lacks in richness for more mundane things (settings, persons, landscapes, etc., while cleverly described, are not overly colorful), she makes up for in medical terms. Far from being off-putting or boring, Kimmery Martin's medical background gives the book an authenticity that make it stand out. Some medical episodes felt a little unnecessary - but overall I really enjoyed the hospital setting. 

As for the storyline. I liked it. I liked the friendship, I liked the development and didn't guess the ending until it was about to unravel. 

Overall, I'd say if you're a Grey's Anatomy fan, The Queen of Hearts is for you (in a more grown-up, more authentic and less ridiculous way). Or if you're just looking for a different kind of mystery novel that's easy to read, but not too easy. 


* This book was sent to me for review purposes. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Beauty: Benefit Blush Bar Palette + New Gold Rush blush Review

Remember last year's amazing Limited Edition Cheek Parade palette by Benefit? Yes. That one. I've been using it ever since.


Well... Benefit did it again. This year's palette, the Blush Bar,  contains 5 full size blush pans - yes, you read that right, full size. 4 blushes: last year's release Galifornia, the classic Rockateur and Dandelion, and this year's brand new Gold Rush, as well as cult favorite Hoola bronzer.


This palette retails for $78 in Canada. Let's break it down: 1 single boxed blush or bronzer is $38. Multiply that by 5. That's a $190 value! ($145 for my American readers). It doesn't get much better than that. The palette has everything you need: a huge mirror, a blush for every occasion and season, a bronzer you can use to contour or warm up the skin, as well as a convenient little brush (which I personally love for contouring).

Galifornia is a fun and bright pinky coral with a very subtle hint of gold shimmer. It is not as easy to blend as Benefit's other blushes and is very pigmented, so be sure to use a light hand. 

Gold Rush is the brand's newest Box o' Powder and is described as a warm golden nectar blush infused with delicate golden flecks for a sophisticated sheen.

Dandelion is a pale matte pink blush that goes with any makeup look and is extremely flattering on fair skin tones. I wear it very often and love the muted, pretty doll face flush it gives me.

Hoola is a warm, 100% matte bronzer that needs no introduction. It is a dream to blend but can be a little dark for fair skin tones, especially in the colder months.

Rockateur is a little miracle. It is a nude pink with a hint of light reflecting shimmer that makes any skin tone glow with the most gorgeous natural flush. 


A little more on the new Gold Rush blush ($38 CAD): 


I wanted to love this so much. It looks absolutely stunning with its golden overspray and gold nugget texture. However I find that the golden flecks are a little too chunky and tend to accentuate my pores. I'm hoping it's due to the overspray and will keep you posted once the overspray is completely gone. There's also the issue of the scent: while Galifornia has a fairly strong but amazing citrusy scent, Gold Rush's scent contains notes of vanilla and sandalwood which are fairly heavy and tend to linger on my face for hours - I don't hate it, but I also think you should be cautious if you're not a huge fan of scented makeup. 


Both products are available now, however the Blush Bar palette is a Limited Edition, so hurry!


* Please note I received these products complimentary for review purposes. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 
Powered by Blogger.