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During my collage days I remember working in a downtown Toronto bookstore managing a staff of film and drama majors looking to schedule their work shifts around the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). When working in advertising I did the line-ups for rush tickets to see films I wouldn’t normally watch in theatres.

Schedules for writers and bloggers in Toronto have been filled with TIFF experience lounges, giving media a taste of what visiting celebrities would receive as gifts. The EGPR TIFF Essentials Lounge is a little unique in that it’s aimed at the above said writers, giving them the tools to survive and recover from a busy TIFF schedule.

TIFF may not be part of my agenda as of late with three kids at home but I find the whole parenting gig can be almost as demanding. Before the start of the festival I was lucky enough to have been invited to the #EssentialsLoungeSix and I’m here to tell you that items provided to media in attendance can easily be labeled parenting essentials too.

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I may not have been waiting along the red carpet for a celebrity sighting of say Jeremy Irons but walking the kids to school or volunteering on a fieldtrip between work projects is the perfect condition for a pair of Saucony Sneakers, like my Jazz Originals.

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Up before anyone else and the last one in bed, parents and TIFF media know the importance of keeping energy levels high while staying hydrated. I love the boost from Vitamin Water XXX with its acai-blueberry pomegranate flavour, while Oats & Ivy Spicy Almond Milk gives me no excuse to skip breakfast in the morning. You know, that “most important meal of the day” we’ve always been harping on about to our kids. I love that their flagship store is located a brisk walk from my home office should I need to combine exercise with breakfast after school drop-off.

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Meeting celebrities probably meant most TIFF bloggers and writers were putting a little extra effort into their appearance but as a parent, who has time for that? I’m lucky if I can get into the shower and when I can’t Cake Beauty’s Rush Brush Dry Shampoo is a perfect “fake-it” (an area I seem to be very good at lately, faking it). I even recommended this dry shampoo brush in my Theme Park Essentials post because no child heading into Disney World has patience for mom’s morning routine.

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For skincare you may have heard I’ve just started a new regiment prescribed for me from the folks at SkinCeuticauls. I’m already a big fan of their Phyto Corrective Gel for my uneven skin tone, one of my favourite pocket beauty wonders, so I’m eager to see the results from a whole skincare plan. Just because I don’t attend film parties doesn’t mean I don’t want to look good or smell sweet.

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Speaking of sweet. The vanilla beach scent of Van Cleef and Arpels California Reverie Fragrance makes the scent of laundry soap and body order on the TTC a distant memory; it makes me feel like I’m more than just a mom. I’ve never really thought of myself as someone who wears scent since the result on others often feels like a mask but this light scent has won me over. That and a refreshing spritz of Kosmea’s Hydrating Rosewater Mist, a favourite natural skincare brand.

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Getting through the day, whether it’s work meetings and school visits or homework helping and the evening routine, Knixwear’s seamless moisture wicking undergarments add a sense of freshness and a little sexy. It may sound hooky but I think we sometimes take for granted what we wear under our clothes, especially as we enter the realm of motherhood. Kinxwear is both functional and flattering. Plus they have a new super comfy and versatile bra coming out that looks fabulous!

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Why shouldn’t we as parents go about our long day in comfort too? And thankfully the Knixwear is designed for real women even if I sneak in one more glorious glazed bit of Krispy Kreme goodness.

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So while I wasn’t mixing it up with celebrities on the red carpet or hanging out into the wee hours at the after parties at TIFF, every item in my Essentials Lounge survive and recover bag will easily be put to good use in my everyday performance as mom.

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