Another January…

…another detox plan! But are these so-called miracle detoxes really as good as people say they are? I’ve done a bit of internet research, and here are some detox tips that I’ve come up with…

Be Realistic – don’t set yourself up to fail with an extreme diet or complete lifestyle change from the get-go. Make small changes and encourage yourself with goals that are achievable. Also, make an effort to ensure that just because you’re detoxing or participating in a winter cleanse doesn’t mean you can’t have a social life. There’s a great article here, about doing just that, and not alienating yourself from your friends.

Eat Super Foods & Antioxidants – Be sure to find ways to include foods with super strengths into your diet over the winter to get more bang for your buck. A few good examples are: clementines, kale, carrots, Brussels sprouts, grapefruits and parsnips. Luckily quite a few of those can be found at the local farmers’ market throughout the colder months! Quick tip: warm up with a daily green tea for a boost in antioxidants.

Exercise – A healthier diet and super foods are a great start, but to really take it to the next level, find a regular workout or activity that fits in your lifestyle (outdoor skating is a great one). Good workouts help to clean your internal organs and push toxins out of the body.

Treat Yourself – Know that a detox or a cleanse doesn’t mean giving up on indulgences forever. Find healthy ways to work them back into your diet – the key is moderation!

Remember to always talk to your doctor or naturopath for advice on cleanses, detoxes or diet changes!

Happy New Year!

Looking for more healthy lifestyle tips? Check out Atlantica Hotels at the Optimyz Live Health Expo, a Health, Fitness & Lifestyle Show at Exhibition Park January 19-20!

 

Resources

huffingtonpost.co.uk

ehow.com

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Stay organized (and stress-free) this holiday season…

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As you may already know, every Monday on our Facebook page, I post your weekly zen moment. Mondays can be stressful, and it’s important to take time to breathe and de-stress! A couple weeks ago, I posted some tips for having a stress-free holiday season. Turns out there are multiple sources on the web offering advice on how to stay on-track, organized and zen (as possible) over the holidays.

Here , I’ve put together the top ten tips I’ve found (sources can be found at the bottom of the page):

10. Plan Ahead. This is a no-brainer, the more in advance you make your plans, the easier it will be for you to get organized and manage your time more effectively.

9. Less is more. You don’t need to go over the top; keep this in mind with hosting, cooking and gift-buying. Go for quality, thoughtfulness and authenticity over quantity.

8. Be careful. Store your ornaments carefully (egg cartons are great for the small, delicate ones) as well as decorations. This makes every year a bit less stressful – no surprises when you open your storage bins and find your favourites broken.

7. Write it down. Make yourself a to-do list and set firm deadlines that you need to meet to get everything done. This gives yourself a timeline to follow and helps so much with time management.

6. Be kind (to yourself and others). Be realistic with your goals and expectations; don’t set yourself up to fail, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

5. Take inventory (of your Christmas things). Count your supplies and make an organized gift wrapping station; this way you’ll know if you have enough to get through. Also – make an inventory of your decor and ornaments so you can keep track from year-to-year.

4. Ask for help and involve others. Get the kids to help! It’s okay if you can’t do it all on your own. Get help with housework (if you can afford it) – it’s only once a year!

3. Pack it up in bins. Label and index everything. One neat tip from Martha Stewart is to store holiday lights around a piece of cardboard to avoid tangling! Good quality bins with clear labelling are a great investment!

2. Leave the cooking to someone else (unless you really enjoy it), take-home turkey dinners (ahem – like we offer at Seasons by Atlantica), or pot lucks, are fantastic and stress-reducing. Share hosting with other family members (if possible), and don’t forget to cook in advance and freeze some things for when people pop over. Also – cookie exchanges are also a great way to have a variety of sweets to offer with less work!

1. Celebrate when you’re done. The most important! Work hard, and play hard my friends.

Good luck with your holiday planning!

Sources:

tlc.howstuffworks.com

marthastewart.com

styleathome.com

 

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Black Friday in Halifax

The most intense shopping day of the holiday season in America is slowly making its way to Canada! In recent years many stores across our country have started their own Black Friday sales, to encourage Canadians to stay and shop north of the border, to support the local economy.

So what’s going on in Halifax? Lots.

First, think about keeping your dollars local…

I’d like to highlight that according their Twitter account, the Uncommon Group will be offering sales at their numerous outlets (think Uncommon Grounds, Uncommon Kids, Carbonstok…) in order to reward Haligonians who are keepin’ it local this Black Friday instead of shopping online or simply buying the cheapest toys they can find at an American Wal-Mart.

The Coast is asking again this year that Haligonians take the Buy Local Pledge, and promise to spend at least $100 of their holiday shopping budgets at locally-owned businesses. Taking the pledge on their website also enters you in a draw to win one of six $500 gift certificates packs.

I Love Local HFX is asking you to at least think about shifting 10% of your spending. The newest campaign brought to you by I Love Local is called Shift10. If you could shift only 10% of what you spend in a year to locally-sourced products, Nova Scotians could see more than a billion dollars injected into our economy.

If you’re looking for the mall atmosphere, Halifax Shopping Centre is having its Big Black Bow event all weekend long, and both Mic Mac Mall and Dartmouth Crossing have many participating outlets!

Take advantage and shop early this year! Make a weekend out of it – stay with us for the perfect central location , in the middle of all the shopping action!

Happy browsing…

 

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Plan ahead this Holiday season…

It’s hard to believe that Remembrance Day is already just a couple days away. And after this important event, the festive season is just around the corner! 

Like most people, almost every year I say I’m going to get ahead of the game for the holidays, look ahead, shop early and make plans in advance. But… I rarely ever do! Life just gets so busy this time of the year.

To help myself out, and many like me, I thought I’d get the festive calendar ready and take a good look at the upcoming weeks! Here’s a first glance at the HRM holiday season…

November 11Remembrance Day Ceremonies at Point Pleasant Park and Grand Parade

November 16 (and December 6) – Shopping Under the Stars on Spring Garden Road

November 16-18Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council Craft Show

November 17Holiday Parade of Lights (currently looking for volunteers) Downtown Halifax

November 20 – Opening Night at Neptune Theatre of Elf: The Musical (runs through to January 6)

November 23-25Dalplex Christmas Craft Market

November 24HRM Christmas Tree Lighting

November 30-December 1Symphony Nova Scotia Maritime Fusion Concert featuring Jimmy Ranking

December 7-15 – Symphony Nova Scotia presents The Nutcracker

Of course, there are always endless client receptions, work parties, family get-togethers and other fun, festive outings over the holiday season. This is just to give you an idea of some of the signature holiday events you should be planning for in HRM. And of course.. your own holiday shopping, volunteering, donating and charity work.

Only 45 days until Christmas! 

Don’t miss our festive brochure if you’re looking for corporate, family or friends-related outings this Christmas season (we have a great New Years Eve and New Years Day).

Happy planning!

 

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Get spooked this Halloween…

No Halloween plans yet? No worries! There’s no shortage of spooky activities going on in Nova Scotia this time of the year…

Country of the Corn

With such an abundance of farm land nearby, it only seems natural that someone would create a haunted corn maze! (Actually, several people have.) If you’ve already made your trip to the Annapolis Valley to pick out a pumpkin and grab some amazing produce from the fall harvest – head back in for some corn maze fun.

Noggins Farm offers a family-friendly corn maze seven days a week, as well as a haunted mansion! Riverbreeze Farm: The Bloodfields in Truro steps things up a notch with a full-on, strongly themed haunted corn maze. Think actors, a creepy back story, blood, gore and a lot of adrenaline! This is not for the faint of heart. Open every Saturday night in the month of October; leave the little ones home for this.

Scary Movie Night

Walk home in the dark after a night at the theatre with friends. There’s usually several scary movies being released around Halloween, and this year it’s Paranormal Activity 4, Silent Hill: Revelation, and The Hole. If none of these are hardcore enough, find your favourite horror flick on iTunes or at the store (Video Difference on Quinpool has an awesome selection – their horror section is even sub-categorized). I love getting spooked vintage style with Carrie, The Exorcist or Candyman! If you really want to make a spooky, giggly night of it, dig out the old ouija board with some friends, just like back in junior high!

Haunted Halifax

There’s always a ghost-related experience waiting to be had in Halifax. Stories revolving around shipwrecks, pirates, tragedy and just plain ol’ creepy, historic buildings are everywhere. Just ask someone who’s ever worked at the Five Fisherman Restaurant – one of the more famously haunted buildings in our city.

Our spooky tours are just that much better in late October. Join the oldest ghost walk in Halifax on the night of October 30th – its sure to get you in the mood! Tours start at 8:30pm and last two hours.

Happy Halloween!

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Nocturne: Art at Night

Last year we were honoured to be involved with Nocturne: Art at Night as a venue and to be part of a musical art instalment by Lisa Lipton. This year, although our lounge won’t be becoming physical art again (which was really cool), we’re proud to be a huge supporter of this really important art event in our community.

We are on board as an official sponsor, and are happy to be offering discounted rates for those heading to Halifax to take in the art festival. (Call us if you are!) Don’t know what Nocturne is? Read on… and you’ll definitely want to head to downtown Halifax on Oct. 13 and make a night of it!

Nocturne is a city-wide, free nighttime art show in Halifax. For one magical evening, you can stroll the city and take in a variety of instalments, for free.

Our city becomes living art on this night – everything from light shows, music, videos, window instalments, sculptures, and even the buildings themselves become art. The streets bustle with excited people… it’s really a fun thing to be a part of.

To make your experience that much easier, there’s a Nocturne app available for your smart phone. Start making plans with your friends on which part of town you’ll cover and what instalments are the most intriguing!

Last year I roller discoed with zombies!

Is that enough to get your attention? You need to check it out!

Want to know a bit of the history behind nighttime art festivals? I covered that last year on the blog. Read it here.

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Halifax Pop Explosion!

The Halifax Pop Explosion is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and we’re excited to be part of the action! On October 16th through 20th some of the coolest musical acts to hit the Maritimes come together for four awesome days in Halifax.

Why it’s cool

First, because there’s different ways to buy passes, including early bird pricing (that has already sold out), passes, wristbands, and singular event tickets.

Second, because the festival isn’t just about seeing live music in one place – it’s literally ALL over town at some of the most unique venues that our city has to offer.

Third, because the bands and musicians that perform for the Pop Explosion are true artists. They are talented songwriters and performers (like a personal favourite, Wintersleep) who have great followings in Canada and beyond – and they deserve it.

And last because it’s not just a music festival, it’s a conference. Take advantage of the opportunity to attend workshops and talks on industry topics!

Get connected at the Explosion

The Pop Explosion offers an interactive app for your iPhone or Android, making it easy to plan your schedule over the four days, view the lineups, and read more about artists. That’s pretty sweet!

Host hotel

You may be wondering why we’re so interested in the Pop Explosion this year. We’ve always supported this event as one of the many reasons to visit Halifax in October – but this year in particular we are happy to announce that we’re the new host hotel for the event! What does that mean? It means there are a ton of cool things happening at our property, and if you’re headed this way for the event, you can get a sweet room deal. More details here.

We’ll see you in October!

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Chef Clavel heads to the Canadian Chefs’ Congress

The Canadian Chef’s Congress event started in 2008 in Singhampton, Ontario as an extraordinary gathering of chefs, wine makers, food producers and agricultural professionals as a way to celebrate Canadian food culture.

We’re proud to say not only that the third congress is happening here in Nova Scotia, but that our executive chef Luis Clavel will be a part of it. The event is taking place in the beautiful Annapolis Valley, at Land of Evangeline Campground in Grand Pre, and promises to showcase all that our province’s abundant landscape has to offer.

There are an array of culinary events that happen at the congress. And it’s not just for chefs – many are available to attend, through ticket purchase, to the public. If you’re a foodie, you don’t want to miss this.

The congress is when some of the best chefs in the country gather, work together, have fun with their food, and celebrate their talents and passions.

The Events

The weekend kicks off with a press conference on Sept. 15 at Fleur de Sel restaurant in Lunenburg.

Here’s highlights from the rest of the weekend…

Sunday Sep. 16

Farm tour in the morning – participants will head around the province for this.

Malt Scotch pairing luncheon at Le Caveau (Domaine de Grand Pre).

5pm Nova Scotia Fish Fry $65 for public tickets, only 50 are available.

Monday Sep. 17

Breakfast prepared and served by culinary students from NSCC.

Best of Country Lunch

5pm All Clad Cook-off

8:30pm Nova Scotia Kitchen Party (Chef Clavel to be a part of this)

Tuesday Sep. 18

Breakfast by NSCC Culinary Students

Workshops

Taste of Nova Scotia Luncheon

7pm Pig Roast (tickets available to the public)

For full information on the event, or to buy tickets, click here. We hope to see you out, supporting our Canadian chefs, wine makers and the agriculture industry!

Cheers!

 

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Student City

Photo courtesy of DSU

Although we’ve had our share of lively nights filled with tourists, a busy harbour during Tall Ships, and extravagant shows on the waterfront for Buskers Festival – the generally quieter, hot summer days in Halifax are coming to a close. The traffic was light, people were on vacation, and the student population was back at their respective hometowns or job placements. 

But that’s all about to end! It’s that time of the year when Halifax turns back into a university town. From the big’uns like SMU and Dal, to the smaller MSVU, our art and design school NSCAD, various NSCC campuses, and not to mention all the private colleges – it’s fair to say from September to May, the students run this town!

We love back to school time at Atlantica Hotel Halifax. Not only do we get to host many parents coming to town to drop off their kids (ask about our university rates if you’re booking), we get to see the streets fill with people, experience Shinerama, witness frosh week activities – and enjoy tons of back to school specials on Quinpool Road!

I’ve been a student in Halifax, and here’s my top three reasons why it’s great to study and live in our city…

1. Taking Study Breaks at Beautiful Places

Get your nose out of the books and take a stroll around Point Pleasant Park, have a picnic on the commons – or just walk along our waterfront! If you’re lucky enough to have a car, head out to the beach or Peggy’s Cove.

2. Student Nights/Specials

The day-after-a-big-night-out-brunch is a student tradition! At Seasons by Atlantica we’re offering 15% off our new Sunday brunch menu when you show a valid student ID! And – get this – we’ve got EIGHT different kinds of Caesars, that are only $4 from 11am – 3pm every Sunday.

Along with our own specials, students in Halifax enjoy tons of discount nights at local pubs and restaurants, along with killer deals at the campus bars.

3. The huge, diverse student population

Once the students hit the streets – they’re everywhere. You can meet a photography major from NSCAD, a international business student from SMU or someone taking their masters in chemical engineering all in one night! There’s opportunity to make so many new friends during your time at university – some that will last a lifetime.

 My advice to the new students in Halifax: live it up!

 Happy Back to School!

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Pin it to Win it!

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Are you on Pinterest yet? We are! Atlantica Hotels is proud to say we are now pinning with the best of them out there in ever-changing world of social media.

Why use Pinterest? Well, everyone uses it differently, but for us, the reasons are…

It’s taking the travel world by storm

The tourism industry on Pinterest is booming. Not only do most of the major hotel brands have Pinterest boards, but pinners all over the world are sharing their travel experiences through photos. A high majority of Pinterest users also have boards labeled something like “my dream vacations”, where they re-pin amazing photos from various locations, hotels, resorts and fantastic destinations. It really is helping to build the culture of travel in the social media world, and opening many people’s eyes to cities and regions they’d never even considered.

On top of travelers and hotels using it, destination marketing companies and tourism boards are getting a lot of traction from using Pinterest as a marketing tool. It is an easy way to share high-quality and interesting photos from their region or destination and have the travel enthusiasts on Pinterest to help make them go viral. A little effort can go a LONG way on Pinterest. If you have the right photo and enough people want to share it, it will be re-pinned like crazy!

It’s being used to plan weddings and events

Brides-to-be and event planners are some of the biggest pinners out there. There’s an abundance of wedding and event ideas right at your finger tips. Pinterest has made it easy by having categories – so you can look at pins from users all over the world in mere seconds. Everything from wedding dresses to hair styles to food shots can be found in abundance (and I’m talking millions) on Pinterest.

Now, we’ll be out there posting our best photos from fabulous events and weddings that Atlantica Hotels have hosted!

It’s great for fun contests

Speaking of destination marketing, and speaking of contests… Destination Halifax is currently running a Best of Halifax giveaway in which you can win five adventures, airfare and accommodations (at our beautiful property). Awesome!

Expect many more fun contests and partnerships with our Pinterest page and our great local organizations who work hard to promote Halifax and Nova Scotia.

Happy pinning!

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