Over the course of the eleven years of sharing #DoTheDaniel moments, memories and so much more with you all, I’ve been many different versions of myself. I shared a post on social media this weekend where I opened up about my mental health and how often times over those same years when people would ask me how I was, I would respond with “fine” and “good” when I really wasn’t.
While I didn’t see me sharing the following blog post like how I am about to, I think it’s important amid a journey of introspection and making real change that I acknowledge the life I have lived and the things I have endured.
I want to make it very clear that the following post contains trigger warnings of sexual abuse, substance abuse, eating disorders and trauma.
Continue reading “That one blog post where I lay it all out on the line”
If you’ve had children of your own, or have been around children since 2013 when Disney first released Frozen, you’ll know the words to “Let it Go” and “In Summer” off by heart. It was absolutely everywhere, and I know that I was a super fan back then alongside friends and family. When movies are made into musicals, I often wonder if the same magic gets translated into sets, special effects, and costume design.
Last night I was invited to the premiere of Frozen The Musical at The National Arts Centre in Ottawa by Broadway Across Canada, and here is what I really thought about it.
Continue reading “I saw Frozen The Musical, and here’s what I really thought”
While I sit down to write this blog post after the most tumultuous and jarring 36 hours of my life in many years, I am doing my best to not collapse under the pressure.
They say in life that some things you have to learn the hard way, and my friends, this is about to be one of those moments for me. What I do know, and can share, is that it’s time I get very honest with you and with myself. It’s time I start down my sobriety path openly, honestly, and in hopes that the challenges that lay ahead (as I share them along the way) help anyone out there who has been or is currently struggling.
February 20, 2024.
Day 1 of being 100% sober.
Day 1 of a new way of life.
Continue reading “Some things you have to learn the hard way”
While it’s been no surprise to those of you reading and / or following me online, if you’re new to the blog, I should admit that my 2024 hasn’t started off very well at all. I, like most people, kicked on Jan 1 with energy and excitement and before I knew it so many things abruptly changed that I am still left reeling from the process.
Since January I’ve had to overcome some pretty incredible hurdles, some of them not so gracefully, and amid online support groups I was already aware of, my current psychotherapist and a new mental health expert I am meeting later in February, I find myself looking for support and a sense of community in the world. Let me tell you about one I was recently introduced to and how it may just be a fit for you as well.
Continue reading “How I’m making 2024 the year of change”
For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I love fragrances. I have probably around four to five of them on the go at once, and save the important ones I receive as gifts for the most special of occasions. That being said, if you’re also like me, you are probably due for a bit of a refresh on that shelf in the bathroom or place on your drawer. I’m here to share with you about H24 Herbes Vives by Hermès and how it’s quickly becoming one of my favourite scents of 2024.
Continue reading “When it doubt, a new fragrance always helps me”
With 2024 well underway and so many fabulous destinations to explore in Canada, I’ve been recently sharing places that I and we have loved to explore. We all know that Toronto is home in my heart, and recently upon a visit to Mississauga for a brand event, I got to thinking about it as both a destination for tourists and Torontonians alike. This is my first of many online love letters and why you should consider to #VisitMississauga in 2024 like I plan to.
Continue reading “Can we take a moment to talk about Mississauga ?”
I can’t lie and say that I am sitting down at my computer today living the life I have always wanted. Yes, I am fortunate enough to be working in a field that I love, doing some pretty spectacular things. But at what cost, I find myself asking the reflection lately. At 40 years old I am once again in a very challenging predicament where I am lost in more ways than I am found. I try my best to wake up every day and tell myself that the small victories & the silver linings will get me through the day.
But if I’m being perfectly honest, some days, I wonder.
Continue reading “The small victories & the silver linings”
I like to think that I am pretty much an open book with you. I have shared (and at times, overshared) with a ferocious vulnerability that has helped me cope with some of the most intense and beautiful moments that life has put in my path. I went into the holidays with a proverbial candle burning at both ends, but looking forward to actual rest. We were going to Toronto for almost two weeks and I was packing the car and Canela’s things with a promise to myself to actually take off a few days amid the two weeks because I had barely done it all 2023 long.
Everything was okay, and then very suddenly, it wasn’t okay.
Continue reading “And then it wasn’t okay…”
With the holiday season officially here (he writes as he looks out the window as sudden snow falling) it’s time to start planning office parties, family dinners, and amid the holiday shopping, finding the time to celebrate with your friends and family. All of that is exciting and I look forward to it, but where do I go when I want to pause the stress but still enjoy the holiday spirit? Miracle on Bloor St. of course!
Continue reading “Miracle on Bloor St. is back & here’s why you need to go”
When it comes to the holidays, I know it’s easy to lose yourself in the decorations, nostalgia and music. I love all of those things more than most, and my tree has been up since November 1st but it’s also important to remember that this time of year allows us to make a difference in the world where and when we can. Especially nowadays, I like to believe that small gestures of kindness and joy can have the biggest impact of all. Here’s how I’m planning to make a difference this holiday season with WWF-Canada.
Continue reading “How I’m planning to make a difference this holiday season”
It’s officially allowed (at least in my opinion) to switch proverbial gears and embrace the holiday season. For some, I may seem a bit too eager for their personal timelines, but I actually just rearranged my entire first floor and put up our Christmas tree. With the season comes some of my seasonal favourites. The ugly christmas sweaters, get togethers with friends, and yes, even the dreaded office parties. This year, things are going to be different though and I’m excited to tell you why.
Continue reading “Are you ready to #win the chance to be the office hero?”
I wanted to sit down to write a blog post about turning 40 and all thing moments, memories and experiences I’ve worked so hard to experience and share. Amid juggling the concept and structure of the blog post – a process which can sometimes take a few hours or a few days – I got a note from the team at Netflix Canada. It had just under a week since I last got behind the wheel of my car to drive to Toronto, but I knew it they asked I would do it again. Much to my surprise, the event in question was in Ottawa and was an intimate gathering around a mini series that was launching in early November. Little did I know that while ruminating on the past I was about to have an immersive experience that I simply had to tell you about.
Continue reading “Just when I thought I had experienced it all”
I know, I know… I’ve been talking about my 40th birthday since what feels like January. And with it finally happening on October 17th, I’ve really been putting a lot of thought into what I want to get myself. A milestone birthday is a special occasion after all, and a pretty big one at that. So inspired by my own indecisiveness and finally realizing what I really wanted, I thought I’d share with you all the four steps I took to buy myself the perfect gift.
Continue reading “The four steps I took to get the perfect gift”
With my way to my 40th birthday on October 17th, I like to think that age is just a number – though I am making some extra groans and noises when I get out of bed these days! All that aside, I have always been a big kid at heart and have loved being married to an equally playful and incredible human being. We LOVE anything Pokemon, Nintendo, LEGO, Barbie and so much more. It’s why I am so excited that Toys”R”Us Canada is opening a BRAND NEW location right here in Ottawa just in time for the fall and upcoming holiday season, and I wanted to share the opening weekend festivities with you all so you can join us there!
Continue reading “From Paw Patrol to the perfect holiday gift ideas”
For those of you who follow along with me on social media, you’ll know that 2023 has been a busy year full of new adventures, new experiences, and new destinations. I’ve loved where the year has brought me as I celebrate ten years of blogging, and inch towards my 40th birthday in October. I know that for many of you out there it’s also simultaneously been a busy and amid year, and for many of us, we haven’t made the time to take care of ourselves in the ways we probably should. Inspired by a recent trip, I think this is the sign you need to book that flight you’ve been thinking about – but with a twist.
Continue reading “Bringing a whole new meaning to booking that flight”
That trending audio on social media is one that felt like it spoke to my soul the first time I heard it. I would click on the audio and watch as people around the world found beauty in sometimes the smallest and most simple things. It made me realize that amid the insanely busy pace I have been running this year, I am very grateful for the romantic lens through which I see my own life and accomplishments. For years I was deemed “sensitive” or a “hopeless romantic” and more often than not, it was used against me as an attack instead of the compliment I thought it was. But I love the fact that getting on a bike and chasing a summer sunset feeds an inner desire to live life more beautifully. Click here to see what I mean.
Continue reading ““You’ll never regret romanticizing your life””
The Toronto International Film Festival is officially upon us for 2023 and amid screenings, and red carpets, and hugs in passing running in between events, I am lucky enough to be invited to some of the most exclusive events of the season. I’ve said it for ten years, but it’s just not TIFF without a visit to see the fabulous NKPR gifting lounge!
Continue reading “It’s not TIFF without a visit to the NKPR IT House”
While it feels like the summer came and went in the blink of an eye, with the upcoming autumn season comes one of my favourite times of year. Yes, The Toronto International Film Festival season is upon us and with the excitement comes epic events, screenings, and a celebration of some of the best films in the world. Not to mention that ten years since starting this blog I get invited to some pretty incredible opportunities that I love to bring you along to. Let’s talk about one of those!
Continue reading “Living life to the fullest during TIFF 2023”
I am the kind of person who has lost count of the amount of times I’ve driven along the 401 between Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and beyond. Don’t get me wrong, I love to drive, but at a certain point you stop seeing the landmarks and the signs on the side of the road. When you think about it, there’s a whole world to explore at the next off ramp or destination, and for the longest time that’s what Bay of Quinte was to me. A sign on the side of the highway. All these years later I’ve come to appreciate that the region is so much more, and if I’m being honest, it’s become one of my favourite places in Ontario.
Continue reading “Beyond what you see on the highway”
July 17th feels like a good day to sit down and catch up with you all out there.
It feels as though it’s been ages since I wrote for the sake of writing. Of course as my proverbial star is on the rise, I have worked very hard to have the successful year that 2023 has turned out to be. That being said, I don’t ever want to forget that my humanity is just as important to discuss as my career. While I am my own biggest cheerleader when I have wins, I also have had a lot of pretty monumental hurdles that I have had to quietly overcome at the same time. All too often our social media accounts are a representation of what we want people to see, and it’s time I remember than ten years of success was built on the foundation of honesty and vulnerability.
So, let’s talk about the really hard things I’ve been struggling with personally this year while also having the best year of my professional life. Because those things aren’t mutually exclusive and often times exist simultaneously for many of us.
Continue reading “It’s time for a reality check”
We all know that I am a Vitamix gurl through and through. Over the years I’ve watched as some of my favourite creators work with them to create beautiful dishes and recipes. I was also lucky enough to get in their good graces and always look forward to receive new models to test out and review. BUT that’s not why we’re here today – today it’s all about EPIC #PrimeDay sales and how you can get your hands on that Vitamix you’ve been eyeing for an amazing deal!
Continue reading “Vitamix is celebrating Prime Day with huge sales”
With the warm weather finally here, it’s time for me to start thinking about how I plan to make the most of the sunshine and summer months. For ten years I’ve sat down to write blog posts about my summer plans and to connect with all of you out there – both long time readers and first time visitors – and this year is no different. While those of you who follow along with me on social media have seen, I am ramping up for my biggest summer yet and I thought I would share my 5 ways I plan to make the most of it all.
Continue reading “5 ways I’m making the most of my summer”
Over the last five years (pandemic inclusive thinking) I have oscillated between always being in the kitchen, to not being in it for weeks at a time while traveling for work. It’s always been a telltale sign of my happiness and feeling mentally centered. By that I mean, that I am evidently happy and feeling like myself most when cooking. Some of you out there will understand exactly what I mean by that, and to those of you, I wanted to share a few more reasons why I love my kitchen this year.
Continue reading “Even more reasons to love your kitchen”
I guess the best way to start off this blog post is to define the term allyship and it’s importance to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Why? Because amid a very busy Pride month I have born witness to a lot of performative allyship / marketing, extreme levels of hate towards our community, and have even had brand partners ask me to “tone it down” to avoid controversary. And this year I even received death threats in the comments section on multiple social media posts.
So yeah, I think it’s important that we talk about this a little more.
Continue reading “The 2023 Levis Pride Collection”
I reached a few big milestones in my career this year and have been so proud of all my hard work to get here, and of course have shared my gratitude for the people who helped along the way. It’s one of the reasons why I started The Hand That Helped. It’s also why I continue to believe that offering creators, performers, and artists just starting in their career my platform is so important, because that would have meant the world to me when I first started.
So as we go into a busy Pride month, I thought I would celebrate Pride Month with the Queer artists making waves in the First Up with RBCxMusic program.
Continue reading “3 artists that should be on your radar this Pride Month”
For those of you who didn’t know, a few years ago my husband embarked on helping to find a multi-generational home with his mom and brother. Living in Toronto, it took some time, but with the help of an amazing real estate agent, they found a condo in the Jane & Eglinton area. While the building was quite ordinary from the outside, the interior has been renovated to perfection and it was a fit!
A few years later, during a visit to the city, we sat in the living room chatting and I looked out onto a 12 x 12 balcony that had been mostly unused. That’s when I decided it was time to transform the space into the outdoor oasis the family deserved, and today I wanted to share exactly how I did that!
Continue reading “My tips on making a patio makeover easier”
*Please note that this is a sponsored post with redtag.ca – my disclosure can always be found by clicking here.
We all know that I am a proud member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and that I aim to create content that not only helps my community to be seen and accepted. In a world that can sometimes be a lot for those of you reading, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there’s an extra layer for those of us who are watching laws be passed and our existence be banned.
I am not here to preach ideology, but I always want to share safe destinations, experiences and memories because my fellow community deserves the joy that travel brings into our lives just as much as everyone else.
Continue reading “Let’s Kick Off Pride Month With Something Huge!”
If you haven’t noticed, I like to stay in the know when it comes to the hottest trends. I buy Julio & I the best items to make our lives easier, and when it comes to mobile and home devices, I’ve loved our ongoing love affair with all things Google over the last few years. Having recently joined the #GoogleIO excitement online, I wanted to share some of the things you need to know about the items coming to Canada and why I am so excited for them!
Continue reading “Everything you need to know about what’s coming from google”
With the summer months just around the corner, I am already dreaming of days in the sun and the ways which I will be able to relax amid a busy schedule. Of course there’s spa treatments, movie dates and nights out at the best restaurants – but, what about an oasis getaway that’s much closer than you realize right in the heart of Toronto? Yes. I’ve got the inside scoop of where and how you can unwind in the best way possible this Pride month and all summer long!
Continue reading “Your Toronto Summer Oasis is Much Closer Than You Realize”
It’s absolutely not a shock for me to sit down to write a blog post in the form of a love letter to the Canadian Rockies. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to travel to Alberta and British Columbia on several occasions, and each time was life changing. Most recently on a getaway with Rebecca to Banff, I truly felt a sense of stillness again, which for those of you who follow me will know is something I crave amid the fabulous non-stop life I lead. There are destinations and experiences in this world that hold what I can only describe as magic, and I’m about to venture off to yet another one with Julio.
The best part? He’s never been and is about to see why I love this part of Canada so much.
Continue reading “Here’s Why You Need to Get To The Canadian Rockies in 2023”
Did you know that one of the biggest and most exciting awards show in Canada happens every year in Ottawa? Yes we all know about those music ones that I’ve attended and loved forever, but I’m talking about The 2023 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards which takes place at The National Arts Centre and brings together artists of all walks of life, and art lovers too! Yes. This event is taking place of May 27th in Ottawa and I’ve got all the details on how you can buy tickets to join us in the celebration, red carpet and gala in today’s blog post!
Continue reading “Everything You Need To Know About The 2023 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards”
For those of you who follow along with us on social media, you’ll have seen that this week I finally shared the surprise birthday plans I’ve been secretly organizing for Julio’s upcoming birthday. When I asked him this year if he wanted a gift or an experience, he opted for the second and that meant I wanted to do something extra special for him.
You can of course watch his reaction to the surprise by clicking here – but I thought ahead of us getting on the plane to head to Los Angeles, I’d share what we have planned and how #DiscoverLA is definitely a destination you need to experience for yourself this year!
Continue reading “Here’s What We’re Doing for Julio’s Birthday in Los Angeles”
I don’t often like to make bold overarching statements using words like favourite, best, always (or the such) because in almost every case it diminishes someone else. I guess in that way I am very much a Libra and people pleaser, not looking to rock the proverbial boat. That being said, after ten years I think I’m a little tired of corporate entities or governing organizations pushing out guides that are ultimately pay for play and have nothing to do with the hard work or incredible wine being produced in Canada. Those with marketing dollars looking to get seen and be noticed on a shelf, in a magazine, or via an article too often outshine the real stars of the Canadian wine world.
Not here, and certainly not with me. I’m about a genuine support local energy and that is why I gathered together my ultimate wine list for the spring, and I can assure you that I didn’t charge anyone to be on this list. Instead I’m sharing them because they are creating some of my absolute favourite bottles right now and if you’re a wine lover too, this is a great way to explore what Canada has to offer.
Continue reading “The Only Spring Wine Guide You’ll Need”
With Spring cleaning, purging our closets to do consignment here in Ottawa in an effort to put a bit of money in our pocket, donating items that could use a good new home, I’m all about making the right changes to my mindset and my home. Of course Spring also usually brings the launch of some of my favourite brands with the latest model – and this year Vitamix definitely has me browsing which model I could see on my counter.
Continue reading “Maybe It’s Time For A Refresh This Spring”
Having a few months in 2023 behind me, I am feeling very much in a good groove when it comes to content, partnerships, events, travel and the such. I laughed when I recently took my mom on a press trip with me for the first time (in ten years – and yes, #MamaSue was a hit with my friends in the media) and she got to see how much work goes into what I do on a daily basis.
Not that I need the validation, because it’s become second nature to go at this pace, but it can sometimes take a lot for me to be impressed. I am always inspired, but impressed takes a special kind of topic or experience. I guess that’s why I was so pleasantly surprised during an event in Toronto as Rebecca’s plus one where a brand truly left me impressed with an initiative they have been spearheading in Canada for years.
Continue reading “Just When I Started To Think I Couldn’t Be Impressed…”
As many of you who follow along with us on social media would have seen, Julio and I recently decided to take a weekend away in Montréal along with Canela after a busy start to 2023. Now that we live in Ottawa, it’s so much closer than it was before as a destination and I’ve made the decision that this year we are going to take advantage of that, because we never know where the future will take us. So, in an effort to help inspire a weekend in my home city like no other, no matter where you’re coming from, I thought I’d tell you about one of our absolute favourite hotels and how you can enjoy a much needed getaway as well at Humaniti Hotel Montreal, Autograph Collection – Montreal’s First Smart Vertical Community.
Continue reading “How To Make The Most of a Weekend in Montréal”
Yes, you read that correctly. My favourite tequila is launching two new products into the Canadian markets and I’m here to break the story in a full circle moment since being the first media outlet to write about their launch in 2015.
Over the last eight years I’ve watched as the team being the scenes worked to establish an empire that continues to grow and thrive – and on their own terms. As someone that identifies with that narrative, it only made sense that I got the first scoop.
Continue reading “You Heard It Here First – There’s TWO new Siempre Products Coming To Canada”
If you’ve been following along in 2023, I started off my ten year celebration of DoTheDaniel.com by launching a giveaway worth over $10,000. Yes – you read that right.
One lucky winner will win this EPIC giveaway and I’ve been sharing different ways to enter on the 10th of each months, for ten months. March is all about the blog and how you can add to your entries or enter for the first time!
Continue reading “Here’s How To Enter To Win $10,000 This Month”
I’m sitting at my laptop today looking through photos of travel experiences from around the world and realizing that my wandering spirit needs a new experience, and soon. I’ve loved exploring more of Canada over the last few years and recently I was introduced to several destinations that have become favourites, alongside a few experiences I can’t wait to book for the first time!
Continue reading “Travel Experiences You Have To See For Yourself”
As you would have noticed over the last few years since moving to Ottawa, I have made a concerted effort to showcase the city in a refreshing way. I think for a long time there was a stigma associated with the nation’s capital – one I can admit I didn’t help to stop in my youth – that it has no culture and nothing to get excited for.
Since moving here I think I’ve helped you realize that that isn’t the case. 2023 is off to an exciting start and we have yet another festival to look forward to on bank street starting on March 17th that you’re not going to want to miss!
Continue reading “Here Is Everything You Need To Know About This Year’s Fire & Ice Winter Festival”
It’s so strange to me to think that last year was the first time I ever went to RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa. While Toronto was home for over ten years before moving to Ottawa to save for adoption with Julio, I lived in the city for a long time before that and I can’t wrap my head around the fact that as a music lover I never attended. That or maybe at 39 years old, I just can’t remember if I did….
Either way, the 2023 lineup was recently announced that there’s a reason why everyone is loosing their minds over the line up. Let’s talk about it!
Continue reading “Who Are You Most Excited To See At RBC Bluesfest?”
Today’s the day Ottawa – yes, this blog post is dedicated to you as a city and something fabulous that just arrived that is for you to enjoy before most Canadian cities. That’s right, the famous Tim Hortons Flatbread Pizza which took Mississauga by storm in 2022 has arrived, and you can now enjoy it at 12 locations around the city. I had the pleasure of trying them today and all I can say is YUM!
Continue reading “Ottawa Just Got a Lot More Delicious”
Valentine’s Day seems to be one of those holidays that you either love to love, or love to hate. Either way, I know that I know Spring is around the corner-ish every February 14th and that’s reason enough to enjoy a beautiful glass of wine. I am actually astonished to have found out that Julio got me a gift this year while I haven’t gotten around to thinking about or buying one for him. Thankfully I’m a fabulous gift giver & experience curator. And of course when in doubt, a beautiful bottle of wine and some romance are the perfect option. For those of you in the same place, I thought I would do the hard work and curate the ultimate wine list for Valentine’s Day 2023 for your BFF, special someone, or for that solo soak in the tub.
Continue reading “Your Ultimate Valentine’s Day Wine Guide”
While many Canadians are kicking off 2023 with being back in the office and trying to keep up with resolutions, we’ve all just gotten a gift we didn’t know we needed in our lives. At least that’s how I’m feeling now that news has broken that iconic Canadian retailer Zellers is coming back and not just in one location, but across the country! So in anticipation of walking through the doors and hopefully giving Zeddy a big hug to welcome them back, I thought I’d share my #Zellers memories and what I am most excited for.
Continue reading “So Zellers is Coming Back… What’s The First Thing You’re Buying?”
I know that we have been travelling a LOT as of late, and amid a whirlwind schedule leading into the holidays we recently had the opportunity to attend Bloor Street Entertains in the city of Toronto. The largest charity event of the calendar year, in support of CANFAR, I proudly attended as Julio’s plus one. While I am proud to Co-Chair the Legacy 2.0 Chapter of CANFAR in Ottawa, he is a National Ambassador and I happily was the proud husband and plus one for the evening and weekend. But for an elevated experience, I knew I had to find an elevated hotel in the city that could match that fabulous energy. Thankfully for us, Park Hyatt Toronto was able to show us why it is one of the best hotels in the country.
Continue reading “The Five Things I Learned About Myself From The Park Hyatt Toronto”
If you’re like me, you love giving gifts over the holidays to those you love. But, over the years I have come to realize how much I love Boxing Day for me. The deals are just better than ever this year! You all know how much I love Vitamix Canada, so when the team at Vitamix USA reached out to tell me about their boxing dale sales that we too can take advantage of, I simply HAD to tell you all before it was too late!
Continue reading “Run, Don’t Walk, To Take Advantage of The Deals!”
While the holidays are a time to be with family and friends, I can often find myself torn in between the ones I love and preparing delicious food and drink. That’s why when I find products and items that can alleviate some of that stress and let me focus on what matters, I get excited to share that with you all. Launching just in time for the holidays, La Presserie cold press cocktail mixers are my secret weapon this year to ensure I throw the best holiday parties possible!
Continue reading “The Six Things You’ll Need To Make The Holidays Better”
While we are all in full swing during the holiday season, I know that after a busy year I could use a perfect getaway to relax and unwind – To Chill Out even. That’s why I am so excited to share that in February 2023 Julio & I will be partnering with Air Canada Vacations to celebrate Pride with some fun under the Cuban sun!
Yes, that’s right – Air Canada Vacations’ Chill Out Event is back and now is the perfect time to book your tickets to join all your favourite fabulous people in the sun for an experience like no other!
Continue reading “So… Who Wants to Come to Cuba With Julio & I?”