Guilt-free Treats and Giveaway!

Natural bath products - Creamsicle flavour bath bomb made by Clean TreatsEvery European girl, including this one, has a weakness for indulging in luxurious body care. Whether a relaxing massage, a moisturizing body mask, an invigorating scrub or a warm bath, taking care of your body has an impact not only on your physical self but also on your mind. Anytime I can take time out of the day,or a week, even just 5-10 minutes, I disconnect from the stress of the day and concentrate just on me.

To that effect, I go absolutely wild for scented body care products! The more they smell like my favourite treats (think chocolate chip ice cream, cupcakes, cookies), the quicker they find their way to my shopping cart. So when I discovered Mellanie’s new line of natural handcmade soap, bath and body care products, Clean Treats, I was in heaven! And of course I had to share my discovery with you guys!

Assortment of natural handcrafted soaps by Clean TreatsNatural Soap made by Clean Treats - Pumpkin spice flavourMellanie hand makes her beautiful products with natural and nourishing ingredients like essential oils, shea and cocoa butters, and even coffee! With a view toward them being visually appealing and smelling extraordinary, the entire line is like having a bake shop in your bathroom. My slice of the Salted Coconut Custard soap is currently enveloping the space around my sink in a fantasy island scent (and I have to keep shooing my curious cat from sampling the bubbles). And even though the boy is more of a shower than a bath guy, the Vanilla Gelato Body Bomb had him hogging the bathroom for an hour!

Natural body care product made by Clean Treats - various flavours of their body scrubI asked Mellanie a few questions about her line and her inspiration, and here is what she had to say:

How did you come up with the name Clean Treats? It actually took a lot of brainstorming, revising and asking friends and family which names they liked best. In the end, Clean Treats was such an obvious choice. I loved the double meaning of “clean” in that my products a) clean your body and b) are naturally “clean” without the chemicals that are commonly used in other commercial bath and body products. The “treats” idea is also a very important part of who I want to be as a company; I love creating products that people like to spoil themselves with.

Do you test all your products personally? YES! I do not, nor will I ever, test any of my products on animals. I only test on humans! My family and I are the first ones to test each of my products. When I feel that I have it “right”, I often send my testers out to friends and neighbours to be sure each one is a winner before they make it into my store.

 Earl Grey and juniper flavour - natural soap made by Clean Treats in London, OntarioEarl Grey and Juniper natural handcrafted Soapby Clean Treats Bath & BodyLavender Bliss - natural homemade soap by Clean Treats Bath & BodyHow do you come up with new products/scents? It is about 75% selfish actually. I love to cook and bake so many of my ideas come from the foods I love; anything pumpkin, coconut or chocolate are always on my mind. I am also a big gardener, so many of the scents I love are botanical or floral like lavender and mint. It’s really a creative process for me – I research different ingredients and brainstorm ideas for how they would work in a possible product.

Who inspires you? There are so many other soapers and women entrepreneurs out there that inspire me! I am a member of several online groups where we all share ideas and support each other in our businesses. It’s so great to find a community like that. There are a few soap companies in particular though that I look to for inspiration; The Soap Kitchen is a big one because I love the owner’s enthusiasm and spirit. You really get a sense of the joy and care she puts into her products.

Boho Gold - Natural soap handmade by Clean Treats in London Ontario  Natural bath products - Snowball butter bomb by Clean Treats Bath & BodyWhat is the most indulgent thing you’ve done for yourself in the last few months? I picked my daughter up from school early (she is 7) and we went for manicures and pedicures. It was so much fun to spoil ourselves together. I really believe that everyone should take time to treat themselves and the ones they love. Reconnect with your own joy, even if it is only for a few minutes.

Natural body care products - Lavender body butter by Clean TreatsNatural bath products - Vanilla gelato bath bombs by Clean TreatsAs you can see from her answers, Mellanie has an amazing attitude toward her business and her customers. The natural bath and body care products are so popular that she quickly sells out as soon as a new batch of freshly made items hits the Clean Treats shop. She’s already sold out of most of the seasonal items but there are plenty of others to choose from. If you want to surprise someone for Christmas or indulge your own senses, you’ll have to hurry. The deadline for Christmas shipping is December 18th!

Natural Body Care - Chocomint body butter by Clean Treats Bath & BodyHowever, I’m super excited to announce that Mellanie has generously offered one of her most popular items (and my new obsession!!!!!) the Choco Mint Whipped Body Frosting as my first official blog giveaway! A fantastic, lavish treat just in time for Christmas! It’s super easy to enter and the winner will be chosen from all entrants via a random draw December 17, 2014 at 6pm. The name of the lucky person will be announced on the blog and on social media. You have until then to play along.

** UPDATE ** The WINNER of the draw is Frank Morello.  Thank you to everyone who entered!



1. Facebook: “Like” both Clean Treats and Cobblestones and Cappuccinos pages and share the Facebook Giveaway post on your page with an awesome comment. If you already “Like” one of us, you’re halfway there!


2. Twitter: “Follow” both @cleantreatsbath and @CobblesandCapps and retweet our giveaway tweet. If you’re already following one of us, you’re one click away from entering!


3. For an extra entry, do both!

Good luck to everyone!

Winter Skincare Routine in 4 Steps

Beauty Products for my Winter Skincare Routine in 4 Steps | Cobblestones and CappuccinosMy skin definitely takes a beating this time of year. With the wet, the cold and the winter wind pelting me outdoors, and the dry, warm air enveloping me indoors, I’m setting off on an epidermal rollercoaster for the next few months. Of course this is nothing new to me, nor I’m sure to any woman living in the northern hemisphere. So just like most of you, I’ve had to develop a tried and true arsenal to keep me glowing until all that humidity returns (yeah… I know…that’s a whole other bag of issues!).

I have four main steps in my winter skincare routine that I follow without fail morning and evening. They are fast and effective. It’s what I do before I put on my make-up and directly after I take it off at night. It’s not brain surgery. Just cleanse and moisturize. Having said that, wading through the multitude of products can be daunting, so recently I have narrowed it down to four that do the job beautifully, and I’d love to share them with all of you.


Over the last few years, micellar water has become the go-to cleanser for most Europeans and is slowly making inroads in North America. Models sing the praises of this miraculous liquid and stock up at french pharmacies whenever they get the chance. The most popular brand is made by Bioderma, a dermatological lab based in Lyon, France. The cleanser is soap-free and pH balanced. It contains microscopic beads of oil suspended in a solution that allows for the cleansing of face and removal of all make-up without drying or irritating the skin. I apply it with a cotton pad and wipe, repeating until my face is clean. No need to rinse with water but definitely dry with a clean towel. My face feels so clean and amazing after use.

I purchased mine in Paris where it’s called Crealine but it is readily available in North America under the name Sensibio. You’ll find it online here or at most drugstores.


My go-to facial moisturizer for the last little while has been Moisture Surge Intense Fortifying Hydrator by Clinique and I love it! It’s a long name that keeps dry skin at bay for a long time. The texture is a combination of gel-cream so it absorbs nicely and leaves my skin plump without feeling greasy. There is a lovely floral scent to the product that might not be to everyone’s taste but it doesn’t bother me or irritate my skin. I always put my face products on while my skin is damp to help seal in tge moisture. But sometimes, I layer the Hydrator on more thickly as a moisturizing mask and leave it on while I’m relaxing with a book or even cooking. The steam from all those pots opens my pores and makes absorbing the cream that much easier. After 30 minutes I gently tissue it off to reveal baby soft skin. Feels heaven.

Clinique products are available in many department stores but they also have a great site.


I’m starting to see tiny lines around my eyes. Now this doesn’t make me particularly happy but it sure as heck not going to stop me from smiling. Not being a huge fan of injecting things into my face (at least not at this point in my life), I had to find something to plump up those little suckers. Enter Advanced Time Zone eye cream by Estee Lauder. I love that it feels silky smooth when I tap it on around my eye making sure to hit the brow bone area as well. This is a more specialized product aimed specifically at the eye area and age related issues that seem to be creeping up on me. And even though the product cost is high, I’d rather feel the pain in my wallet than on my face!

It’s available to most department stores or online at Sephora.


And last but not least, I really look after my lips during winter. More than any part of the face, the lips show the effects of dryness, windburn, and the cold. I try to remember to exfoliate my lips at least once a week, but when I can’t, a great moisturizing/healing product is key.

Here, I fall back on another product that french women stock up on at their local pharmacy and which I product back with me from Paris in multiples, Homeoplasmine by Boiron. This is more of a do-it-all ointment like Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream more than a proper lip balm or moisturizer. It provides a long lasting, matte finish barrier on your lips that sinks in to get rid of dryness and flakiness. You are left with baby soft, kissable lips! I use mine both overnight and under lipstick (especially the red ones that really draw attention to my mouth). I can’t say enough about this product, especially since I’ve also used it on other parts of my body since it soothes, protects and moisturizes.

If you can’t fly out to Paris to pick up a tube, you can find a generously sized one here. It’s not inexpensive, but it lasts a long time since a little goes a long way (unless after discovering it’s multiple uses your boy starts lifting it out of your medicine cabinet!).


Hello Joe…Fresh!

Joe Fresh nail polish for fallAlthough I’m usually a neutral, minimal girl when it comes to fashion and make-up, in the fall I like to have colour on my nails. For some reason it makes me smile, it makes me feel polished (no pun intended!), and it makes me feel special. The whole act of a self applied manicure allows me to slow down and take time for myself. You certainly can’t rush a good manicure!

My favourites for this fall season are Berry, Crimson, and Bumbleberry (they go perfectly with my ATI bracelet from MARLU). The nail polishes all come from Joe Fresh and at 3 polishes for $10 are certainly worth a frequent switch up. Find more colours at a Superstore or Loblaws near you!

5 Remedies to the Zombie Apocalypse, AKA The Common Cold

Bed side table with tea and flowersThe zombie apocalypse is here. I’ve joined the hoards of red-eyed, drooling, moaning undead spreading the virus to anyone that gets in its way. Suffering from sneezing, coughing, and a stuffy nose, I’ve fallen victim to long nights of little sleep, a snowy mountain of crumpled tissues and a red nose that Rudolph would give his jingle bells for. In short, I have a cold.

But unlike a zombie virus, this one will have a happy ending. It may take a week or so but those symptoms that make me look as good as I feel will begin to fade. And although I hope to never see another cold again, it’ll be back. I don’t know how or when, but it will be there when I least expect it. And I’ll be ready with a few secret cold hacks up my sleeve!

Over the course of one too many afflictions I’ve learned two things; there is nothing that will shorten the course of a cold (although the amount of time per person may vary between 7 to 10 days); you don’t have to give yourself up to the symptoms.

Here are my 5 remedies to the common cold:

1. Do Some ‘Shrooms

Everyone, and their mom, will tell you to eat garlic at the first sign of a cold. The antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties can’t be beat. But adding mushrooms to your garlic will double the immune fighting properties.

If you can get your hands on some shitake, maitake, or even button mushrooms, fry them in a bit of butter, adding loads of raw garlic. The garlic should be as raw as you can handle so add it toward the end of the cooking process. Sprinkle with pepper, salt and parsley and you have the perfect cold busting snack! Repeat as often as you can.

2. Give the Clown Nose a Rest

To soothe the burning redness and dry flaking skin on my nose I use an antibiotic ointment instead of regular lotion or plain vaseline. Normally made for scratches and cuts on other parts of the body, the antibiotic works well on healing the skin around my nose, while the gel soothes and smooths the skin.

3. Blowing Sucks

A stuffed nose is not caused by mucus but by the inflammation of the nasal wall and expansion of blood vessels. Irritating the nasal passages by blowing too hard will only cause it to feel more stuffed. Instead, I try to pat my runny nose when I can. But when I have no choice but to blow, I hold each nostril shut as I gently blow out of the other.

I also add cold compresses to my nose to ease the inflammation and constrict the blood vessels. You’ll find that hot foods and direct steam will actually make a stuffed nose feel worse.

4. Soup On Steroids

Hot chicken soup is good for the soul and the stomache at any time. But when I have a cold and my throat is sore, amping up this homemade remedy is key.

I simmer chicken broth (you can use homemade or carton) with carrots and garlic until they are soft enough to smoosh with a fork. I mash them gently in the soup with a potato masher. Then I add honey, lemon juice from a whole lemon, ginger, and a pinch of cayenne. I drink this warm concoction throughout the day to soothe my throat and keep hydrated.

5. Fake It Til You Make It

When I feel my worst, I try to look my best. A big believer in the power of positive thinking, I try to make the best of my sick days, even when I’m home-bound. I take a shower, put on a little makeup, get into some cute lounge wear and take a little time to indulge in something enjoyable. Pretending I’m not sick can do wonders – I’ve seen my Mom do it her whole life.

And there you have my 5 remedies for the common cold. So go ahead, give these a try the next time the “zombie” virus has you in its clutches!



Naughty and Nice

Jezebel Soaps - Hussy, London, ONJezebel-Soaps-Tart-Trollop, London, ONJezebel Soap - Harlot, London, ONJezebel Soaps - Bath Soak, London, ONJezebel Soaps - Plain Jane, London, ONStrolling through the merchant stalls outside the Covent Garden Market last Saturday, my eye landed on the essence of European advertising…great uncomplicated design with a dash of sex appeal. The packaging is a play on the beguiling concept behind Jezebel Soaps. The cheeky vintage vixens conceal luxuriously scented, hand made soaps that are as good for your body as they are for the environment. All the soaps (and products) are made from natural ingredients and the wrapping is made from recycled paper. So if you’re feeling a little naughty or know someone who is, why not give these beauties a try.