Thursday, 17 September 2020

Beauty & Skincare Favourites with BeautySense.ca

 


It's not secret that I love beauty and skincare. From a young age, I've been virtually obsessed with makeup. Now that I'm in my thirties that obsession with all things beauty has extended into skincare, hair and body care products. I'm starting to realize that your canvas is just as important as the makeup you apply, and how investing in good products can make a world of a difference. That being said, there is certainly no shortage of selection on the market and the amount of products and retailers available can be overwhelming. For that reason I've rounded up my holy grail, tried and true beauty products that actually achieve results from me, all available from BeautySense.ca

Have you heard of BeautySense.ca? BeautySense is a 100% Canadian owned and operated Montreal-based spa that also offers a wide variety of products online from curated and trusted beauty brands. I was turned on to the online retailer and was blown away by their selection; in fact, I had no trouble locating my favourite hair, makeup and skincare products from their online site! Shipping is incredibly quick and, the best part, because BeautySense.ca is a Canadian beauty boutique there are no duties. I'm so excited to have found a Canadian retailer for my beauty needs.

So what are my holy grail products that I was able to find, you ask? Here are my top picks from BeautySense.ca. Products that I've been using for years that have guaranteed results for me.


Esthederm: Intensive Hyaluronic Cream

Now that I'm 35 years old, I need to be very diligent with ensuring that my skin is properly hydrated and moisturized - otherwise, I notice a big difference. Night creams are so important, and the Esthederm Intensive Hyaluronic Cream is hands down the best, and most effective night cream that I've ever tried. It provides your skin with hyaluronic acid and immediately moisturizes your skin. For me, I notice the biggest difference in my fine lines: it's almost as if my skin is being plumped from the inside out. If you're in the market for a new night cream, or are preparing for the upcoming dry winter season, then I would highly recommend to add the Esthederm Intensive Hyaluronic Cream to your cart.



OLAPLEX: No.3 Hair Perfector

Have you tried Olaplex? If you're someone like me who chemically processes their hair and uses lots of heat styling on it, then you're going to want to try this. Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector is a revolutionary at-home hair treatment that visibly strengthens hair and reduces breakage. This is a product that is typically used in professional hair salons, especially when chemically lightening hair, and now you can use this hair treatment at home too! The difference this one product makes to my hair is almost too good to describe - it makes my hair look and feel as though I have never dyed it! For real! Olaplex is one of those products where the hype is very much warranted, and I'm so happy that I'm able to purchase it from Beautysense.ca.


RMS Beauty: Champagne Rosé Luminizer

If you're familiar with my Youtube and IGTV videos where I go through my makeup routine, you'll know that I absolutely love the RMS Beauty Luminizers. I call this product 'youth in a jar' and with good reason: it literally gives your skin that glowing from within look to it. The RMS Luminizers are not sticky, glittery or greasy. They apply seamlessly and almost melt into your skin, leaving you with a very natural and etherial glow. I've been a fan since I first started using them almost 3 years ago, and am so happy that I'll now be able to shop them from BeautySense.ca.



Bioderma: Photoderm Autobronzant Moisturizing Tanning Spray

While I am now very aware of the damaging effects of the sun and have turned into someone who goes out of her way to avoid sitting in the sun, I still love a good tan. Having tanned skin makes me feel more confident, so I need to look at sunless options to get a glow. The Bioderma Photoderm Autobronzant Moisturizing Tanning Spray is a great option for those of us looking for a sunless bronze. I really like the spray application of this product, and the fact that you're able to build up a gradual tan. If you're missing the summer season already, the definitely pick this up from Beautysense.ca



With so many options available to us in the world of beauty products, I hope that I can help to narrow down to what has worked for me, and products that I keep restocking again and again. In a time where shopping Canadian is so important, I'm really happy that all of my favourites and then some can be found on Beautysense.ca.

What do you guys think? What are some of your holy grail beauty products? Have you shopped at BeautySense.ca before? Let me know!


xo Joëlle


Thank you Beautysense.ca for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Benny's Boho Nursery Reveal!

gender neutral boho nursery

 The time has finally come for me to share Benny's colourful boho-in-the-city nursery! We've come a long way from his small space condo nursery that was essentially our den and I'm so pleased how everything has evolved. Benny's room now is bright, spacious and full of personality and great energy - much like Benny himself! Although it's not totally done yet, (we're still waiting to rip out those damn carpets to put in hardwood) I'm really happy with the point the nursery is at now.

To be honest, even though we moved from a 750 square foot condo into a house in the city, we haven't bought much furniture. Benny's room is a great example - we actually repurposed all of his old nursery furniture from the condo, as well as added a wooden engineering chair that we preciously had in our condo's living room. Instead of buying new furniture (especially when his current furniture was perfectly fine) we instead opted to update and fill his space with some key accessories. Coupled with a fresh coat of paint (our trusty Benjamin Moore 'Simply White') and the room transformed before our eyes.

Take a look at Benny's nursery and allow me to show you what we used to update and make the room his own - without buying any new furniture.



Boho nursery tour

alpaca themed nursery



toronto home nursery reveal

nursery reveal


alpaca removable wallpaper


Let's talk about this absolutely adorable alpaca wallpaper from Anewall. I've been a huge fan of Anewall since seeing them in the nurseries of some of my favourite design accounts and blogger friends. I mean what's not to love - their wallpaper designs are so beautiful and add just the right amount of personality to any room! When I saw that they did an alpaca print, I knew that it would look perfect in Benny's nursery. It's cute, colourful and very gender neutral.

Although there are 3 different wallpaper options to select from with Anewall, we chose to go with the removable vinyl wallpaper. It's a bit more difficult to install (okay - a lot more difficult although to be fair, we were warned) but it makes me relieved to know that should we want to update the space in a few years time that removing the wallpaper won't be a nightmare. Plus, the removable options makes it perfect if you're renting!

I honestly think that having the alpaca print wallpaper as a focal point in Benny's nursery makes the room. I could not be happier with our decision, and am already scouting out other locations to wallpaper throughout our home.

washable mint green rug Lorena canals

If you've spoken to me since we've moved into our new place, you've probably heard me complain about the carpets. I just really hate the carpets, lol. With at least a few more months before we get our hardwood installed, I knew that I had to find a solution for the carpet in Benny's room. Enter this gorgeous, mint green rug from Lorena Canals, available at West Coast Kids. It's soft, comfy, adds the perfect amount of colour to Benny's nursery and - here's the best part - it's 100% cotton and machine washable. Cue the hallelujahs! I'm so happy with the look and quality of Lorena Canals pieces and am so excited to have this rug add some fun and colour to Benny's boho nursery.

wooden toys in gender neutral nursery

vintage car west coast kids nursery reveal

One of the things that I love the most about Benny's nursery is the size - it's massive (for Toronto standards, and especially after coming from 750 square feet.) Because of how large the room is, there is lots of room for a toy area in the corner. Although most of his toys are in his playroom in the basement, I like having a few things for Benny to play with in his room; it really helps when I'm trying to get stuff done in the nursery. Now I'm not opposed to big, bright and loud toys but I wanted the room to maintain a calm energy so I am very selective about what toys stay in the nursery - they need to be cute but also practical.

With that in mind, you know that this Vilac Toys vintage car from West Coast Kids had me at hello. You guys - it's perfect! Not only is it the most beautiful child's toy that I've ever seen, but it's also incredibly practical too. Benny loves this car! It's the cutest thing to see him zooming around his nursery in this car, all while laughing and giggling away. Vilac Toys has been building toys since 1911, and it shows in the detail and quality. Not only is this vintage car a beautiful piece for Benny's nursery now, but it will also transition nicely into his room decor as he grows. Love all around.

Pehr counting sheep mobile nursery styled



mother and son nursery reveal

It's amazing what little details can do for a space. Even with Benny's nursery, I wanted every element to be a mix of both beautiful design and practicality - not a small feat when looking for baby accessories. That's why I've always loved Pehr. Not only are the pieces simple and beautiful, but the company itself is really something that I can get behind - both Canadian and female run! 

I chose to go with the Pehr Stripes Away Hamper, Stripes Away Crib Sheet and finally was able to hang the Pehr Counting Sheep mobile that Benny received from his baby shower from family. I love them all, and they all add the perfect amount of colour and detail to Benny's nursery.


ikea kids bookshelf nursery

cuddle and kind doll




That's it! Benny's colourful, boho, city nursery is finally complete (for now) and ready to be enjoyed for years to come. Let me know what you think of how it turned out!

xo Joëlle


Items In Photos:









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Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Tips For Taking Photos With A Baby Or Toddler


 


Honestly, where has the time gone? If you don't follow me on Instagram, you will have missed that my little baby Benny is now a one year old and has morphed into a full-fledged toddler overnight. Gone are the days of sleepy baby and sitting him down without much movement. Now this guy is literally anywhere and everywhere: crawling, standing, climbing - basically, just trying his best to keep mama on her toes.

All this to say that taking photos of and with a toddler is no-joke. Wether it's indoors or outdoors, local or on a trip, it doesn't seem to make things easier. Toddlers are just hellbent on being difficult to photograph.

Well, I will not be deterred! I love documenting Benny's life and our adventures via photos and hope to continue for as long as he will allow me. Even though taking photos with a toddler comes with its challenges, I have a few tips and tricks that I keep in my back pocket to make things a little easier. Here's how I get photos with my one year old (mostly) without losing my mind.




1. Bring A Variety Of Snacks 

The concept of snacks is definitely not groundbreaking when dealing with a toddler, but I try to pack as many different varieties as I can. If I know that we're going to be away from he house for an extended period of time, even just going to a park to snap a few photos, I load up on snacks and drinks. My trick is to bring a few different varieties of snacks and even a variety of drinks if I can. With Benny, if he starts to become fussy when we're out and taking photos, it's mostly because he's bored. Having a variety of different snacks and drinks keeps his attention for longer, and also makes sure that he's full, hydrated and happy. A win-win all around. 

Some of my favourite snacks to pack:

  • Arrowroot cookies
  • Puffs (usually the savoury kind for some variety)
  • Whole fruits (bananas travel well)
  • Purée packs 
  • Juice boxes
  • Water bottles with ice

2. Take Breaks

Going back to toddlers becoming fussy because of boredom, I've learned to operate on a much slower timeline with trying to get photos with a busy baby. That means taking 5 fairly often to eat some snacks, sing songs, play with toys and generally just change up the activity for a bit. A break can even be putting the camera down to look at a tractor for half and hour (been there.) I basically operate on a very relaxed timeline and try to give into the fact that there will be many breaks between photos - and that's okay.


3. Consider Videos Instead

Sometimes, try as I may, I cannot get Benny to sit still long enough to take a cute photo. What can I say, the man is on the move. Rather than stress out about getting the perfect photo when it may not be a possibility, I turn to video instead. Honestly, having a video camera in the form of your phone on you at all times is such a blessing with active toddlers! I love capturing clips of Benny and our everyday life and adventures with video. It may not be the picture-perfect memory that I was hoping for, but its such a beautiful and realistic snapshot of what life is like during that moment in time. 


4. Hire A Professional

Honestly, the biggest takeaway here is to hire a professional photographer when you really want some beautiful photos of your toddler. Not only is it so refreshing to have someone with you who is just as invested in getting good photos of your little one as you are, but as a bonus you can get some photos together too! I've honestly have never spent more money on photographers as I have this year with Benny, and I feel like it's all been money well spent. 


That's it! These are all of my tips for getting photos with my busy baby. I know they're nothing groundbreaking, but honestly they've been working for me. Taking photos with a toddler can be a lot of extra work, but the memories you have to look back on are worth it.

What do you guys think? What is your go-to method for getting photos with your busy babies and toddlers? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

All photos by Laura Clarke Photography 

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Monday, 29 June 2020

Day Trips With A Baby


Summer 2020 - woo! Not exactly the summer we were all expecting as we're currently in the middle of a global pandemic, but as a Canadian I will take my summer however it choses to present itself. While we won't be partaking in the usual summer concerts, events and public swims for health reasons, there's one summer traditional that I am excited to (safety) resurrect and that is the summer road trip!

If you guys follow me on Instagram or have been reading my blog for some time, you know that I absolutely love day tripping around Ontario. There's just something about a road trip from the city that just reinvigorates you and makes you appreciate the beauty around you even more. Pandemic aside, I have another change to add to my local summer travels - my 11 month old son Benjamin!

Taking a day trip, even just a quick one, with a baby definitely presents itself with its own unique challenges. You need a lot more stuff, timing is absolutely imperative and there is potential for tears - from both mama and baby, depending on how the drive is going! As we're slowly coming out of months of quarantine and self-isolation, I have to admit that I've lost a bit of my mojo with taking Benny with me. Traveling with a baby can be overwhelming, even if that travel is just a day's road trip.

Thankfully after a few successful car trips with baby Benny under my belt, I feel as though I have a handle on road tripping with a little. Yes there is more stuff that you need to bring and the trip is not as carefree as your childless days, but honestly it's so worth it. Here's my tried-and-true packing list, as well as some tips to make road tripping with a baby as stress free and enjoyable of an experience as it can possibly be!

What To Pack:

  • Snacks. So many snacks. At least 3 times the amount you think that you need.
  • Sunscreen
  • Soother wipes. It can be daunting trying to keep baby's hands and belongings sanitized (we are still in a pandemic,) so having a pack of soother wipes handy can really help.
  • Extra Diapers
  • Wipes - not only for diaper changes, but also to clean baby on-the-go (especially after all those snacks.)
  • Soft toys that are safe for the car trip
  • A picnic blanket (I use this one from Amazon, which is actually a tablecloth.)
  • A hat for baby
  • A bottle of water
  • A change of clothes for both baby and mama
  • Anything of comfort for baby - whether that be a pacifier, lovey, blanket, etc.
  • Bug Spray (this one is deet-free and is safe for babies over 6 months)
  • Travel stroller (we're still loving the Uppababy Minu and it lives in my trunk.)
For me, the source of most of the stress that comes along with day tripping with a baby has to do with gathering all of the stuff and panicking over forgetting something important. To combat any anxiety over the added stuff, I keep a canvas bag filled with all of the above and keep it in an accessible area. That way, it's easy to just pop into either the bottom of your stroller (for anything within walking distance) or the trunk of your car. Just make sure that you're periodically changing the diapers and changes of clothes to match your baby's current size.


Car Ride Tips


  • When taking road trips and day trips with a baby, timing is absolutely everything. It may seem like an obvious statement to make, but timing your car trips to line up with your baby's naps will be such a game changer. I even plan to leave about 15 minutes prior to Benny's scheduled nap time because I know that it takes him some time to get settled in the car. 

  • You know your baby best, so if they have a tendency to get worked up and anxious during car rides then it's likely to happen on a road trip (even if you time naps perfectly.) If you have the option, an extra person to sit in the backseat to entertain your baby can make the difference between an enjoyable drive and a nightmare. Grandparents, partner, big kids - anyone who offers to help, definitely take it.

  • Create a rock-solid playlist that's full of songs that you know your baby enjoys. Benny loves watching Mother Goose Club, so I have all of the songs cued up and ready to go for our car trips. Do I love listening to 'The Wheels On The Bus' multiple times a trip? That would be a hell no from me. But, I will sacrifice my typical classic rock road trip tunes for a happy baby any day.

  • Skip the drive through and fill up with gas beforehand. I've learned this lesson the hard way, but if you're timing your baby's naps with your driving time then the last thing that you want to do is interrupt said nap. Reduce any need to stop, and potentially wake up and upset your baby.

  • Have patience and trust that you're making great memories. It can be so hard to keep your composure when you're in the thick of motherhood and don't have the comforts of home to rely on. For me, my trigger is when Benny is crying in the car and there's no way for me to comfort him. Even in our worst moments, I have to trust that we're making family memories and that I'll forget about any of those hard moments as time goes on. 




These photos were taken at quite possibly the most beautiful lavender farm that I've ever visited! Purple Hill Lavender Farm is a picturesque piece of paradise in Creemore, Ontario (about an hour and a half drive from Toronto.) The farm is family-owned, and you can just feel the amount of care and love that goes into the property. The lavender is currently at peak bloom and will remain this shade of vibrant purple until about mid-July. Make sure to visit their website to book your ticket to visit - and bring the whole family. Honestly, you won't regret it.






Road tripping and day tripping with a baby can feel daunting, but it's so incredibly worth it. We may have a very different summer on our hands for 2020, but getting out and exploring nature and what our province or state has to offer is a great way to make lemonade out of lemons. I'm excited for all of our summer day trips to come. Where should we go next?

xo Joëlle
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Friday, 29 May 2020

Favourite Canadian Baby Boy Clothing Brands


Baby boy mamas, who can relate: you're on the hunt for some cute, neutral and high-quality clothing for your little only to be hit with either horribly tacky prints or zero selection. Been there. As someone who really enjoys fashion and dressing myself for the day, that same passion extends into finding and dressing Benny in cute little boy clothing. While there certainly isn't as much selection for baby boys as there is for girls, and you may need to filter your results a little bit more, I have managed to build a very cute and incredibly practical capsule wardrobe for Benny from predominantly Canadian brands.

While admittedly I've been slow to shop Canadian brands for myself, I have jumped in whole heartedly for Benny! Supporting our local businesses is more important now more than ever and we Canadians have some absolutely fantastic brand selections for children's apparel - especially for little boys! If you're like me and seek out neutral colours in natural, breathable fabrics and good quality for your baby's wardrobe then I highly suggest checking these Canadian shops out!

Little Yogi


Made in Canada using natural materials, Little Yogi is the answer to your frustration with gendered children's apparel. Made famous by their harem pants, every single piece of clothing that I've received from Little Yogi has been in heavy rotation in Benny's wardrobe (bonus - it washes beautifully.)



Mini Mioche


Organic and made in Canada, Mini Mioche has been one of my favourite brands to build Benny's wardrobe since he was a newborn! My must-have item from the line is their Romper, which makes cooler-weather dressing a no-brainer. I also love the variety of gender-neutral colours and simplicity of their designs!


Petit Lem

Recently I needed to replenish Benny's sleeper stash, as he had grown out of his previous size, and had a hard time trying to find anything that fit. Thankfully I was able to get my hands on some Petit Lem sleepers - and I may never buy anything else! We were well acquainted with Petit Lem for Benny's newborn wardrobe; everything is super soft and is made with the absolute cutest patterns. They also have hard-to-find premie sizing. Another incredible Canadian brand.



Hey Folks


Made in Canada and formally Minimoc, Hey Folks is the only place that I have been buying Benny's shoes lately. I love their simple designs and the fact that no matter how hard Benny tries, he can't seem to kick them off. Plus, they're so cute and come in such beautiful, neutral colours that I typically buy one pair and Benny will wear them with everything until he outgrows them!



Junior Foxes


As a former baby-wearing mama, adding a ring sling into your arsenal of baby gear is an absolute necessity. I love the beautiful colours and patterns available at Junior Foxes, a local Canadian brand, and how durable their sling fabrics are.

With so many adorable Canadian brands to shop for your littles, he list certainly doesn't end here - these are just a few of my personal favourites, and who's websites I'm constantly browsing.

I would love to know your favourite Canadian brands! Any favourites and stand-outs? Where do you shop for your little boy? Let me know!

xo Joëlle
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Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Entertaining My Baby in Self Isolation


We're in the midst of a Global Pandemic with Covid-19, and I for one am doing my part to flatten the curve and am staying home. While most friends and people I follow online are using this period of self-quarantine to practice self-care or maybe develop a new hobby, I'm over here trying to entertain and occupy my almost 8 month old baby while still staying sane.

Staying home while entertaining a young baby is no joke, and definitely requires a lot of time and attention. I find that we're hopping from one activity to the next, with me just hoping that something on Benny's play mat peaks his fancy for more than a few minutes. Some toys are a big hit one day, and fall flat the next. Sometimes I can entertain him for almost an entire day with regular household items. It honestly just depends!

Here are a few toys, household items and books that we've been using to keep 8 month old Benny entertained while practicing Social Distancing.

Baby Toys

Remember when I said that I would only buy aesthetically pleasing, wooden baby toys? I have to laugh at my pre-baby self. Our condo is definitely a haven for all of the brightly coloured, loud baby toys.  Honestly though, if Benny likes them then I'm on board.

Here's some of Benny's favourite toys, and those that we have on regular rotation at our place. I like them because they're small-space friendly, and seem to really catch and hold his attention.

1. VTech Turn & Learn Driver
2. VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube
3. Fisher Price Piano Gym
4. Soft Crinkle Books

Household Items


Sometimes, the best ways to entertain a baby is through everyday items found at home. We learned this lesson when we took Benny on his fist flight: if it's something that catches his attention (and isn't dangerous to play with,) then just go with it.

Now, we're a little more strategic with offering everyday items that we know Benny will enjoy and play happily with for a longer period of time. There are a few things that I reach for in a pinch, and Benny seems to love them!


  • Tupperware containers (non-breakable, plastic) and lids
  • Pots and wooden spoons
  • Wrapping paper
  • Clean cardboard boxes (ones that have not recently entered the condo)

Books


We're still trying to foster Benny's eventual love for reading, so having books available to him to have read and to play with is so important. Right now we're sticking to board books that have beautiful, colourful images and even different interactive textures.



The Jellycat Board Books are ideal for babies that are in and around the 6months - 1 year age range. Not only as a fun book to read with them, but also as a means of independent play with the mix of textures in each book.

Being in social isolation and quarantine is tough in the best of situations - it becomes even more challenging when you add a baby to the mix. With a rotating selection of toys, household objects and books, we've managed to find a nice routine when it comes to entertaining a baby.

We can get through this. Day 12 of social isolation and counting.

xo Joëlle
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Saturday, 7 March 2020

Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres with Air Transat



I remember being asked, while I was still pregnant, what I was most excited for once baby arrived. That's simple, I said - I was excited to take my baby on their first trip. It seems like a strange answer, but it's true. Travel is and always has been a huge part of my life. My family, due to being a military family and living overseas, were always going on adventures when my brothers and I were young and it made for the best memories. Not only did I want those same memories and experiences for my own child, but I couldn't wait to experience the joy that comes along with seeing my baby experience new things.

Imagine my incredible excitement when the opportunity arose with Air Transat to visit Mexico to check out the recently opened Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, a five-star luxurious family-friendly resort in Cancun. Both Brian and I were ecstatic! Not only would be we able to take Benny on his first trip at 6 months old, but we would be able to return to Cancun as a family - a beloved destination that holds many special memories for us.

So off we went, flying on our first flight with a baby with Air Transat and had the most amazing week in paradise. The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres was an actual oasis. The resort was the perfect choice for a first vacation as a family with a new baby. The experience could not have been more accommodating to traveling with a baby, while still staying in the kind of luxury us late-thirties parents had grown accustomed to. The whole week exceeded my expectations and set the bar for family travel extremely high.

Let me guide you through our week The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres. I know how important choosing the right resort when traveling with kids can be, let alone your first family trip, so I'm going to try to share everything and anything that made our week incredible and why I would recommend this property for family travel (or really anyone looking for a luxurious getaway in paradise.)












The Property


Upon first look at The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, I was struck by how absolutely gorgeous it is. Being only just over a year old and with beautiful, modern buildings and touches, this property makes an impressions before you even check in! Here's some quick facts about The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres and some things that I really appreciated from this unique and luxurious property.


  • The property itself it only 29 km from the Cancun International Airport, which for us translated into a very quick and leisurely 35 minute drive. This is especially important to consider when traveling with a baby - the less time in transit, the better.

  • There are multiple pools on-site, to suit every age range and taste! Ourselves, we mostly just used the two pools that are situated in the Family Selection area of The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres and they were excellent. I was also able to sneak away to check out the adults-only pool and it was gorgeous. There is also a large water park that any older children will absolutely love!

  • Fast, reliable Wifi is included and available throughout the entire complex.

  • The resort itself has over 600 rooms, and never felt overcrowded in the entirety of our stay - both during the week and on weekend. 

  • There is easy elevator access for the buildings. This is important when traveling with a baby and a stroller.

  • The on-site spa is Zentropia, which is easily the nicest and most luxurious spa that I've ever experienced. The services are available at an additional fee, and I found the prices to be reasonable (on-par with Toronto spa prices.)

  • I would classify the resort as a nice, medium size. Easily walkable, however with many options if you need get somewhere in a hurry. Normally if we were traveling on our own, Brian and I would have walked everywhere. However, traveling with a baby means that time is of the essence - especially when trying to get to a quick dinner, or getting back to our room for bedtime. We appreciated the many golf carts that were at the ready to assist, as well as the 100% electrical boats that offer a more scenic ride around the property.







Our Room: Family Selection


For our week at The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, we stayed in the Family Selection option for rooms. You guys - this was a game changer when it came to traveling with an infant. From the location of the room on the resort, to the incredible family-focused service we received, I could not recommend Family Selection enough. The perks for families seem to be endless; here are the features of Family Selection that really elevated our experience for our first trip with Benny.


  • The rooms with Family Selection are located in the most ideal area of the resort, in my opinion. You're close to the beach (in fact, I could see and hear the ocean from our balcony,) and are close to two family-friendly pools. Our favourite family-friendly restaurant on the resort, The Nest is in the Family Selection building itself so it was our preferred stop for a quick breakfast with Benny. 

  • Family Selection includes a family concierge service, and I honestly think that this service made our experience at The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres. From arranging our room to be baby friendly, bringing us sunscreen, a diaper genie, a pack and play - everything! We had two concierges, Louis and Fernanda and they were both excellent. Fernanda went above and beyond to arrange all of our dinner and spa reservations, laundry pick up and ideal housekeeping times that wouldn't interfere with Benny's naps. The attention to detail and the care provided to our family completely exceeded our expectations. Most of all, they both genuinely cared for Benny - you could just feel it from them. I was teary eyed saying goodbye to our family concierges, especially Fernanda. The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres will forever be a main pick for us when it comes to family travel because of the warmth and kindness that we received from the staff.

  • Room service is available 24 hours to guests of Family Selection. We took full advantage, and was a game-changer when we wanted to lounge on the balcony during Benny's naps. The coolest part about the room service is that you ordered from a menu on your TV! So modern, and so convenient. 

  • Our room was spacious and modern, with a large bathroom area and a soaker tub, and a large balcony that overlooked both the pool and the ocean. It was absolutely perfect. The room also included both a coffee and Nespresso machine. You guys know how much I appreciate in-room espresso, so this was a game-changer for me.

  • The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres is a reservation-free resort, however guests staying in Family Selection are able to reserve times at the à la carte restaurants. Making sure that we had set eating times was really helpful as we learned to navigate dinners with a baby on our first trip. Fernanda, our family concierge, made sure we had reservations for the week at all of our preferred restaurants on the first day.

  • Hydrotherapy services at Zentropia, the spa, are available at no costs to guests staying at Family Selection. Although the spa is adults-only, Brian and were able to enjoy a few sessions each by taking turns watching Benny for a couple of hours. 

  • A small detail, but something that is so useful when traveling with a baby, is that Family Selection is allotted two pieces of laundry per guest at no additional cost. This was so helpful when dealing with accidents in sleepers, airplane outfits - basically the everyday messes that come along with a baby.



The Food


One of my favourite things about visiting an all-inclusive resort is having access to delicious food - with the bonus of not having to do dishes or clean up afterwards, haha! That being said, staying at a property for a full week means that the food needs to not only be delicious, but there should also be lots of options. Thankfully the food at The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres did not disappoint. Brian and I were particularly impressed with the quality at the à la carte restaurants. Coupled with exemplary service and beautiful, modern décor, every meal felt like a special occasion.

  • There are 8 beautiful à la carte restaurants, with one of them being exclusive to Family Selection. Although the property operates on a no-reservation policy, guests staying in Family Selection are able to make reservations. For those of us who like dinning early (Brian and I because of Benny,) getting a table was never an issue - even without reservations.

  • The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres takes food allergies very seriously. We were asked at every meal if anyone in our family had any food allergies. We even had a hostess show Brian, who is a pescatarian, around the main buffet so he knew where all of the vegetable and fish options were. We were very impressed.

  • The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres also houses a trendy coffee shop and even a sports bar that's open 24 hours. I'm not one for sports, but you know that I was at the coffee shop multiple times a day. 

  • Although Benny wasn't quite into a solids routine when we visited The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, we noticed so many food options for kids - especially in Family Selection. Fruits and raw veggies, small sandwiches, pancakes shaped like characters - they had it all! On top of that, every à la carte that we visited had high chairs and a fun kids menu.




After a week in absolute paradise at The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, we were all sad to leave. Our first trip with six-month old Benny could not have gone any better, and I'm so grateful for such a positive entry into family travel.

Brian and I have always been very picky about the sorts of properties and resorts that we visit, but we had no idea how much staying at a family-friendly place can really make your trip. The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres has set the bar very high for our first family trip, and was the perfect place for our first foray into family travel. If you're traveling with a baby and/or children, enjoy beautiful surroundings and appreciate attention to details and service then I could not recommend this beautiful place enough.

I hope to be back soon.

Thank you so much to Air Transat for providing our family with this beautiful experience. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
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