Crash Hotel (Edmonton) review | Time for a little staycation…

    Crash Hotel travellers room review

    Crash Hotel review: Perfect for a party, but skip it for the romance

    I was invited to check out Crash Hotel in May, the weekend before I left for China. A place to crash if you’ve been partying downtown, the hotel offers party suites, regular rooms, and hostel-style beds.

    Our Traveller’s King Corner Room was spacious and comfortable, with a gorgeous bathroom and a comfy bed. It features a wall-length desk for those on a working vacation, and everything was very clean (save for a little big critter that I met at 7 AM and woke my partner yelling about.) #JustOldBuildingThings, right?

    My one recommendation? For an establishment with super-flattering lighting and a drink called “The Selfie,” there’s a surprising lack of mirrors in their rooms. Dear folks at Crash – a full-length mirror could totally up your social media mentions!

    Crash Hotel edmonton review food

    Best places to eat in Edmonton on game day: Crash Hotel Lobby Bar

    A review of the Crash Hotel Lobby Bar

    My favourite place at Crash is its lobby bar. The hotel itself sits on top of three different food & drink places: the Lobby Bar, Denizen Hall, and Arena Liquor. One kitchen runs both of the bars, but their vibes are very different.

    While Denizen Hall is a rowdy arcade and sports bar, the Crash Hotel Lobby Bar is a cocktail & martini bar with a tapas-style menu. It would be a great place for a second date. Just make sure not to go on a game day, because it gets packed!

    Edmonton staycation review - Crash Hote

    Crash Hotel Lobby Bar/Denizen Hall review – Brussels ‘n Bacon

    I loved the kitchen’s Brussels ‘n Bacon (above), which was so good that my partner and I had it twice. The chickpeas in the dish are deep fried, and the sweet, spicy sauce is unspeakably delicious.

    However, our second dish was disappointing. We ordered the mussels with blue cheese, sriracha, and condensed milk (below), and they were so salty that we couldn’t finish the dish. (It may have been a fluke of the day, because our server mentioned that it’s a customer favourite.) We had a midnight snack from Denizen later on, and noticed the same thing: the steak sandwich was perfect, but the pretzel was cold and tough.

    Crash hotel lounge restaurant review

    Crash Hotel Lobby Bar review – Sriracha Mussels

    You have to try a martini when you’re in a cocktail & martini bar, so I tried the Prosec-go. It tasted exactly like boozy cough syrup, and was just as much fun. I also had a modified version of The Donald (no affiliation), which I would absolutely recommend if you like lychee!

    Malin + Goetz rum hand wash, b5 moisturizer review

    The verdict on Crash Hotel?

    I’ll be honest with you: we had a mixed experience at Crash Hotel. I really liked it, but my partner really didn’t.

    I loved our stay because the rooms are really cool, the location is right downtown, and the bed was vast and comfortable. Everyone was beyond helpful, and seriously: MALIN+GOETZ toiletries in that bathroom? I can die happy.

    But Crash is a lot of things. There were drunk guys yelling in the hallway at 2 AM, and I got cat-called so many times that even my 6′ tall white male partner felt unsafe. Plus, parking is a whopping $35 a day, and old buildings have their own problems, like thin walls and pests.

    Overall, I would recommend Crash for a younger clientele. With no room service and a noisy environment, it’s not ideal for a romantic staycation–but it’s it’s a very cool place to hang for the night. The hostel-style rooms start at $90 for 4, and the party suite practically encourages gettin’ weird with your friends.

    Crash hotel staycation review

    Crash Hotel Edmonton Themed Traveller’s King Room

    GIVEAWAY | Come stay at Crash Hotel!

    Okay, so here’s the really exciting part of the post. The folks at Crash have offered to give away a one-night stay at Crash AND a $50 gift card to their Lobby Bar! 

    Whether you live in Edmonton and you’d like to treat yourself to a little staycation, or you’re planning to travel this summer and you want to stop by, this giveaway is for you. It’s open worldwide for 2 weeks, and you must be over the age of majority to enter.

    Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    See more of Crash in this outfit post }


    The Floral Maxi Dress with Cutouts | When it’s summer but all you wanna do is wear black

    Summer slits floral maxi dress with cutouts review

    I feel like all of this new content is going up so fast. First it was the redesign, then the lingerie, and then the boozy milkshake… and now, it’s this floral maxi dress. I love this dress, and when I had the chance to shoot it in a really cool local hotel, I couldn’t say no.

    This floral maxi is everything that I’m about. It’s sheer and affordable, and it toes the line between “slutty” and “demure” just as well as it toes the line between “casual” and “dressy.”

    Forever 21 floral maxi dress with cutouts review photos lookbook

    Finding that perfect floral maxi dress

    I didn’t nab any great full-body shots of this floral maxi dress in the wind, but you can bet that that’s on my to-do list. Its front features two high slits with a black mini-skirt sewn into the lining, and it makes me feel absolutely elemental when I wear it.

    For me, the trick to finding the perfect floral maxi was waiting until I found something that fit all of my prerequisites. The flowers on this one are really tiny, so they’re not overwhelming, and the cutouts feel really fresh. The light, sheer fabric sealed the deal for me–it keeps the dress looking playful instead of dowdy.

    I actually came upon this dress as an accident. It was living in the back of my friend’s closet, and she bequeathed it upon me when her ass got too magnificent to fit in it anymore. (No lie. Girl is poppin’.) Happiest happenstance that’s ever happened to my closet.

    See you Monday for a full post on this gorgeous location, and next Thursday for some regular ‘ol beauty content! xo 

    Black slit maxi dress lookbook

    Get the look


    Floral maxi dress by Forever 21 – similar sheer / similar cutout and slit / similar skirt

    Clarks suede booties – similar summer style


    Wet n Wild Fergie Take on the Day Eyeshadow Primer (same formula)

    Maybelline The 24K Nudes Eyeshadow Palette ($11.99 USD)

    MAC Eye Shadow Matte2 in Blanc Type 

    Annabelle Chrome Eyeshadow in Rose Gold ($8.95 CAD)

    Red Cherry Lashes #747U Peony ($4.95 CAD)

    Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Volum’Express Mascara in Very Black ($8.49 USD)


    Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX02 ($48 USD/$58 CAD)

    Marcelle Monochromatic Pressed Powder in Light ($19.95 CAD)


    Maybelline FaceStudio Master Blush Color & Highlight Kit ($12.99 USD)

    Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighter in No. 01 White ($68 USD/$72 CAD)


    Burberry Lip Colour Contour in No. 01 Fair ($31 USD/$33 CAD)

    Maybelline Color Sensational “The Buffs” Lip Color in 955 Espresso Exposed ($7.49 USD)


    Plus-size swimsuits & summer style | More about that beach bod

    *sponsored post

    A few weeks ago, when I posted my Something Wicked Ava review, I mentioned a rather unfortunate part of the fashion world: the lack of options available for plus-size figures. 

    As a petite woman (I’m 5’2″; petite sizing starts at 5’4″), I have enough struggles finding clothes that fit properly. But for your standard North American woman, that struggle is even harder. Small brands like Something Wicked have nothing for anyone bigger than a 38D/32″ waistand searching for plus-size swimsuits is even harder.

    Image HTML map generator

    Surprisingly enough, the brands that I’ve found have been doing the best job of plus-size advertising are fast fashion brands like Forever 21 and online shopping brands like Xehar. So, when Xehar (one of theNotice’s current sponsors) asked me to put together a beach-themed post for Memorial Day weekend, I jumped at the chance.

    Unlike a lot of mainstream brands, who model plus-size swimsuits on “in-between” sized models, Xehar actually uses plus-size models to model their clothing. I can’t personally speak to the fit of their clothing, but the models they choose are a beautiful mix of ages, ethnicities, and sizes. And best of all? Their catalogue is un-retouched, and everyone in it looks psyched to be there.

    Xehar Curvy tankini

    It was so refreshing to see such a wide range of models used by a brand, and I know that’s something that Xehar echoes in their straight-sized Xehar Style line. (I literally squeed when I saw this model’s natural hair.) I’d love to see a little more conscious naming in their products–the shoes above are listed as “tribal flats”–but I think the brand is off to a strong start.

    So here’s a little updated definition of a beach bod for today’s post…

    BEACH BODY: n. The sunkissed, über-babely body of a person of any race, gender, age, or size, who goes to the beach.


    Boozy banana berry milkshake recipe | Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender review

    Blackberry raspberry banana milkshake recipe

    The product: Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender review

    When I told you guys that theNotice was going to be expanding into new content this year, I meant it. From lingerie posts to small business reviews, things are getting interesting around here–this emulsifier blender review included.

    Of course, if you hand me any type of open-ended food pitch, I’m going to add booze into the mix every time. Emulsifier blenders are great for making things like icy smoothies, salad dressings, and baby food, but I broke this emulsifier blender in with a boozy banana berry milkshake instead.

    Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender review

    How to make the perfect banana milkshake

    Boyfriend and I have been drinking more banana milkshakes recently than is probably advisable, but we decided to make one more for this post. They’re typically an off-white-on-white-on-white deal, though, so he tossed in a few fresh blackberries and raspberries to give the shake a little colour.

    Boozy banana berry milkshake recipe

    Banana bourbon milkshake recipe

    Boozy banana milkshake recipe (serves 2)

    • 1 banana, sliced
    • A handful of raspberries
    • A handful of blueberries
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 3 heaping scoops of french vanilla ice cream
    • 2 shots of bourbon (ideally) or spiced rum (if you’re out of bourbon and too lazy to go pick some up)
    • Cinnamon or nutmeg (to garnish)

    1. Rinse berries and slice banana. Get excited for impending sugar and calories.

    2. Pulse berries, milk, ice cream, and bourbon together in the Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender until thoroughly blended. Pour into 2 large glasses.

    3. Lightly dust cinnamon on top to serve. If you’re feeling fancy, grate a sprinkling of fresh bourbon on top to garnish.

    4. Enjoy!

    Banana berry milkshake recipe

    My experience with the Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender

    There’s always something special about the first time you use a new appliance. They’re at peak shininess and cleanliness, and it’s all downhill from there.

    It’s been a while since the last time I used a blender for the first time, and this one was a beauty. At 1200W, it’s a powerhouse, with stainless steel blades and 4 speed settings. (Although I take issue with “pulse” as a speed. “Pulse” isn’t a speed; it’s a pattern. And I would know.)

    Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender review

    The Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender has an automatic clean cycle to get most of the gunk off of your blender before it has a chance to dry, and its removable parts are all dishwasher safe. That includes the 2L blender, the 20 oz single-serve cup, and the ingredient plunger.

    (My partner got way too excited about the plunger. Like, bud, it’s just pushing ingredients down. You don’t need to caress it.)

    We’ve already covered the fact that I take issue with how Living with Montel distinguishes settings from speeds, so I’ll just list the buttons available instead. Apart from the power button, there’s Single Serve, Puree, Crush, Soup, Smoothie/Clean, Pulse, High, Medium, and Low. The pre-set functions cover pretty much everything you’ll need your blender for, and then a few more just for good measure.

    Boozy berry smoothie recipe

    The Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender verdict?

    Living Well with Montel is a new brand by Montel Williams. I’m naturally a little wary of new celebrity brands, but you know what? I really enjoyed using this emulsifier blender. It’s a really nice little piece of equipment, and it offers quite a bit of power for a reasonable price.

    Montel’s new 1200W Emulsifier Blender is similar to the Ninja Professional Blender in a lot of ways (which I don’t think was coincidental), and I’m hoping that its motor will hold up just as well. I’m looking forward to putting it through its paces with plenty of green juices this summer!

    Availability: $149.99 USD at Living Well with Montel; $93.99 USD at Wayfair.


    Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil review, swatches, photos

    Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Oil review, swatches, photos

    The product: Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil

    The Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil formula

    Despite the name, most lip oils are formulated as film-former bases accompanied by oils for extra moisture. The Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil formula features mainly a caprylol glycerin/sebacic acid copolymer, beefed up with castor, sunflower, meadowfoam, coconut, and soybean oils. It’s a 100% natural formula, including the added flavour.

    Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Oil review

    The Burt’s lip oils are just as super-smooth as promised, and they do feel more like a lip oil than a lip gloss when applied. But I think they could stand to make a few improvements. The oil formula sinks in extremely quickly, and I find myself reaching to reapply quite frequently. I’m used to lip balms lasting 3-5 hours; these last more like 2. The twist-pen applicator can also be inconsistent, so reapplication is a little frustrating.

    Seriously, though: why do companies keep pushing out these twist-pen applicators? Does anyone like them?

    Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Oil swatches 2017

    Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil swatches: 612 Showering Sunset, 604 Caramel Cloud, 613 Whispering Orchid, 625 Rustling Rose, 621 Crimson Breeze, and 630 Misted Plum

    Burt's Bees Showering Sunset, Misted Plum swatches - tinted lip oil

    Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil review – 612 Showering Sunset, 630 Misted Plum

    The Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil shades

    Burt’s promises “a hint of sheer color” with these lip oils, and they hit the mark on that point. These six shades all look more or less the same when applied, with minor differences.

    My favourite shade of the bunch is the baby pink 612 Showering Sunset (swatched on left), which leave my lips looking really smooth and delicate.

    Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Oil

    The Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil verdict?

    Burt’s Bees is launching quite a few new lip products this season, making the Tinted Lip Oils just one of many. On the whole, I like these, but they could be better. They offer just 0.04 oz of product, and need to be applied extremely generously if they’re going to last for more than an hour.

    I’d recommend skipping these and saving your pennies for Burts’ other lip launches, because some of them are great. However, if you really want to try a lip oil, these are a nice, natural option at an affordable price point. They’re pretty hydrating (again, if applied generously), and they’re comfortable to wear.

    Availability: $9 USD/$12 CAD at Ulta, Walmart, Walgreens, and more.

    Read more