Thursday, March 27, 2008
• Tamsin – 1.1 lbs (-8.1 pounds to-date)
• Eden – 3 lbs (-17.5 pounds to-date)
Eden and I are past the halfway mark. It feels great! Lots of friends, family, and co-workers are rooting for us. This week, I’ll answer a few of the questions that I hear most often:
Does the food really taste as good as it looks on the commercials?
I started out a bit sceptical, but I was pleasantly surprised! It’s true that the eggs are awful but, all in all, the food is very tasty and the menu has a lot of variety. Plus, I get to choose your own vegetable, fruit, and protein servings to suit you.
Are your clothes fitting differently?
More than anything, I notice my pants are getting looser in the waist and thighs. Also, my face feels thinner.
Anyone notice a change in your appearance?
My co-workers and several of my pole-dancing students have noticed a difference.
Are you in a groove now or sick of the whole thing?
After the first week, I couldn’t imagine 84 days of NutriSystem – I thought I’d get sick of it. But the truth is, I like the routine and the variety of food. Tonight, I enjoyed Lasagna with Meat Sauce (still my favourite!) with a spinach salad and Blueberry-Lemon dessert bar (yummy, not too sweet!).
What do you find most challenging?
Maintaining variety! I am always looking for new protein, veggie, and fruit servings to add more variety and I’m not a big fan of salad (except spinach). I live near Chinatown East, so I am experimenting with interesting fruits (like litchi) and veggies (rapini and bok choy).
My favourite discovery is steamed edamame – I found them in individual-sized servings that steam right in the bag (they come with little packs of sea-salt). I love my plain-old vanilla protein shake in the morning; this week, I’m going to pick up a different flavour.
How do you stay motivated?
I’ve noticed that my energy is consistent and pretty high – an extra bonus for me because I often struggle with fatigue and low iron. The protein boost works! I have no problem tackling writing contracts until late into the night or teaching 3 pole-fitness classes after a day at the office. Plus, there’s always the dream of great new spring clothes in a smaller size to keep me on track!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Arthur Mendonça Sample and Inventory Sale:
• sizes 2-12 - note the full size range ladies. ;)
• up to 90% off samples
• up to 75% off SPRING 2007 overstock
• up to 50% off AUTUMN 2007 overstock
• up to 50% off RESORT 2007 overstock
219 Dufferin St., Suite 112C (map)
Wed. Mar. 26 - 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Thurs. Mar. 27 - 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
• full payment required
• all sales FINAL
• cash, cheque, visa, or mastercard
Saturday, March 22, 2008
If you’re like me, chances are you didn’t get to L’Oréal FashionWeek. I really wanted to see the Pink Tartan show – I love Kimberly Newport-Mimram’s Pristine Punk collection. The Joe Fresh show always amazes me too – how does Joe (Mimram – yes, he’s Kimberly Newport Mimram’s other half) pull off such an incredible show while keeping prices so affordable?
Fortunately, there’s a lot of coverage online. Fashion Television assembled an incredible multimedia archive. And if you want to get a behind-the-scenes look at the make-up, check out what Henna from Canadian Beauty had to say.
Enough of this virtual view of L’Oréal FashionWeek, next fall I’m wishing for my own press pass so I can share the details first hand. Wish me luck!
Even at dinnertime on Saturday night, I got some terrific responses…
Alexandra Clark of Cheap Eats fame shared her timely grocery tip:
“Food shopping tip - you can get a fantastic deal on meat if you hit a 24-hour grocery store the day before a statutory holiday.”
John Meadows from the new On the Log podcast (more about that in an upcoming post) had two great tips to share:
“If I don’t want to be bothered by sales people as soon as I enter a store, I put my iPod headphones on :)
Another one - don’t get extended warranties on most electronics; they are a 90% profit for retailers.”
I’ve tried the iPod thing too and it works. Sometimes I even have it turned off!
I think I’ll try this more often. Of course, if you have a tip to share, send me an e-mail and I’ll do my best to include it on the blog. ;).
Photo credit: the girl on Flickr
Thursday, March 20, 2008
• Tamsin – 8 oz. (-7 pounds to-date)
• Eden – 9 oz. (-14.5 pounds to-date)
This week the focus turns to exercise. That’s right, you heard me. It’s time to get moving.
I’m pretty active but except for a love of walking and sporadic cycling during the warmer months, I hate exercise. Okay, I’ve said it, now let’s move on.
NOT! Two weeks ago I introduced That Kathryn Girl to Tamsin at the NutriSystem blogger event. They started talking and the next thing I knew, Kathryn had registered us for an intro class at Aradia Fitness Uptown – the studio where Tamsin teaches pole dancing.
I can’t believe I’m telling you this but last Sunday, Kathryn and I took an introductory pole dancing class. Tamsin was our teacher. I guess it’s only fair. She’s been hanging around my blog, the least I could do was check out her turf and besides, she gave us coupons for $10 off. ;) It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
We had a blast and a good workout to boot. Tamsin is an incredible teacher. She’s got tons of energy, a lot of enthusiasm and patience for even the most spastic student.
Check out the photo of Tamsin teaching Kathryn how to slide down a pole.
I have a confession to make. I’ve actually lost about 14.5 pounds to-date so tonight I updated my results. In the search for an accurate scale, I ended up making a few switches during week one. I thought I had reported my weight loss correctly. I was wrong. The only constant that week was Mr. Bargainista’s weight. We both weighed ourselves and the difference between us has increased by 14.5 pounds since I started the program.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Since then, Keith proposed to Michelle and he said “Yes”.
I met them both the next day and they are as lovely as their legend. Keith made a beautiful sushi set for my sister. He called it “The Prosperity Set” and wrote a wonderful story describing his inspiration.
And now he’s at it again. Keith has partnered with Tommy Vallier and Dave Fleet to help Dave raise money to fight breast cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital. Dave is running the Boston Marathon next month and trying to raise at least $3,000.
Keith is creating a special work of art to be auctioned off on Thursday, March 27, to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to Dave Fleet’s fundraising efforts.
So there you have it, you can be part of another social miracle either by participating in the auction or sponsoring Dave Fleet directly.
Note: The auction begins on Tuesday, March 25 at 9 a.m. EST and ends on Thursday, March 27 at 9 p.m. EST. I’ll add a link to the auction webpage as soon as it’s available.
Monday, March 17, 2008
One of a Kind Spring Show and Sale
Exhibition Place (see map)
Direct Energy Centre
• Adults $10
• Seniors (65+) $6.50
• Students (13-17) $6.50
• Children (12 & under) Free
At the door:
• Adults $12
• Seniors (65+) $6.50
• Students (13-17) $6.50
• Children (12 & under) Free
Thurs., Mar. 20: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 21: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 22: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 23: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Mon., Mar. 24: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Everyone was so geared up for L’Oreal’s Toronto Fashion Week which starts tomorrow. I probably won’t be making it to any of the shows or parties so I’ll have to follow the adventures of my TFBB friends who do a great job of reporting. You can do the same! Check out where to find attendees below...
Sonja Andic - PR rep for L’Oreal
Henna Singh - Canadian Beauty
Rea McNamara - Eye Weekly style writer
Rina Grosman - She Does the City “Sew What”
Alison-Violet Mount - FashionTelevision videocaster
Adrian Corsin - Fashion Verbatim
Brooklyn Brownstone - Designer Relations for the FDCC
Sarah Nicole Prickett - Torontoist fashion editor
Unfortunately, I had another commitment and had to leave early and didn’t have a chance to speak to everyone. It was so nice to hear from Rea McNamara after brunch. She wants to learn more about my shopping adventures in Second Life.
Thanks Danielle for the photo!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Mr. Bargainista is an avid music fan but other than music, news, the odd video and business transactions, he doesn’t spend much time on the ’Net. I’m usually the one showing cool things to him. So when he told me that REM was going to release their next album, Accelerate for free on Facebook, I was both pleasantly surprised and intrigued.
REM will be streaming Accelerate using the social networking application, iLike. Fans will be able to listen to and share the entire album using iLike, Facebook, iTunes and several other social networking sites for free on March 24 – one whole week before Accelerate’s April 1 release date. The iLike launch will include all 11 original tracks and an exclusive behind-the-scenes video of the making of the album.
Connie Crosby pointed me to the NinetyNights video promo they started on January 1. Every night from now through March 31, REM is releasing a video in HD for one night only. Fans are able to embed the video on their blogs, link, share, and download the videos for free. Have a read of the usage policy – fans can pretty much do whatever they like with the files.
Tonight is Night 75 and I’ve embedded Mr. Richard for your viewing pleasure:
What do you think of REM’s approach? Will you be listening on March 24?
Friday, March 14, 2008
As we shared insightful conversation and lots of laughs over good eats and pretty martinis, there was a lot of discussion about why women in the social media space aren’t getting as much recognition as they should.
From my Bargainista perspective, most of the people pitching me are either women with little blogger-relations know-how or straight men who just don’t have the requisite passion for products or services targeted to women.
I interviewed some young PRs on twitter (note: predominantly male) and asked them where the females were. They said there are just as many Canadian women PR students and/or recent grads embracing social media but the males are far more active and vocal.
PodCamp Toronto 2008 was an unconference for podcasters and social media enthusiasts held in February. I was a member of the organizing team. We had 7 members (3 women; 4 men). We treated each other respectfully every step of the way. When it came to the actual sessions and attendees however, women were definitely in the minority. What was even more disconcerting was the lack of young girls. There were a handful of teens in attendance: all male.
Taking stock of the marketing/PR/corporate communications professionals who blog and podcast (I belong to that community too), the content creators are predominantly male.
Although based in Connecticut, Joseph Jaffe who wields a pretty big stick in the social media community, put out a call for requests to join his blogroll. At last count, 33 men and only 3 women responded.
The men in this community are a tight-knit group and share a lot of link love, not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing. On a one-to-one basis, they seem to have a lot of respect for their female peers but many only shower their love on a couple. When it comes to blogrolls and conference speakers, women are also noticeably absent. Why?
Women who are active in the digital and social media space can’t blame it all on the men. We can and should do a far better job of promoting ourselves and sharing the love. It’s up to us to make our voices heard and get more involved in the community.
As a start, I’ve added a new blogroll - Women who rock! - it lists my female friends and those I admire in this space (with the exception of those on the original Bargainista blogroll). Stay tuned for more real-life initiatives supporting women from the After a Fashion gals this spring.
So this week, if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m wishing us gals will stand up and be counted. Have your voices heard and share the love!
Pictured (l-to-r) Michelle Tampoya, Connie Crosby, Kate Trgovac, Jen Evans, me, Kathryn Lagden and Jenny Bullough.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
• Tamsin - 1 pound (-6.5 pounds to-date)
• Eden - 1.6 pounds (-8.8 pounds to-date)
Tamsin shares her challenges while vacationing in Las Vegas last week...
Week 5 of our NutriSystem Challenge took a bit of a detour for me. I spent 4 days and nights in what is perhaps the most indulgent city in North America – Las Vegas. So this week, I am talking about how I navigated the many tasty temptations of Vegas.
Before I embarked on my weekend getaway with my girlfriend, I logged into the NutriSystem website (free for anyone to sign up!) to check out the advice in their handy “NutriSystem Dining Out Guide”. I like that NutriSystem acknowledges “real lives” that might include a special night out and the occasional desire to order dinner in. NutriSystem’s advice is all about positioning your mindset before you even enter a restaurant (or flip through the delivery menu). The guide includes sections for different cuisines: Chinese food, Indian food, Italian, Thai, and so on. It lists dishes to avoid and dishes to go for.
It’s all about preparation. I arrived in Vegas feeling prepared to eat healthily and watch out for portion control – especially the notorious buffets. I tossed a few NutriSystem breakfast bars (I’m enjoying the cranberry) into my suitcase to have with my morning coffee and juice. They contain a good amount of protein, which saw me through to lunch most days.
NutriSystem encourages enjoying the dining experience—rather than eating everything to get your money's worth. Given the spectacularly designed restaurants and glorious presentation of each dish (especially the sushi at Koi), enjoying the experience was easy! I ate a salad with every meal and, despite enjoying some expensive dishes, I really did find myself worrying less about clearing my plate.
I didn’t expect to lose any weight this week because of my trip, but I am proud of how I balanced the temptation with my new awareness of how I eat. Portion control is important, but I am convinced that a prepared mindset is just as critical – whether you’re in excessive Vegas or ordering in pizza at home.
Photo credit: Roadsidepictures on Flickr
Monday, March 10, 2008
Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch (TFBB)
461 King St. W. (map)
Mar. 26, 2008
The TFBB gang and friends.
RSVP by logging on to http://tfbb.eventbrite.com
It’s been a while since I’ve brunched with the gang. I’m looking forward to this one. Hope to see you there.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Caving into the nag factor, especially because the release date was supposed to be on my son’s birthday in mid-February, I placed a deposit on a copy in January. A week or so after I put my money down, I learned SSBB release was delayed again!
EBGames left me a confirmation message on Tuesday. Our copy should be waiting for us in the store this morning.
You may know I’ve been hanging out on twitter lately. So, when I logged on this morning, there was lots of buzz about SSBB.
Jeff Pulver posted a video of the SSBB unveiling at his house. Guess he got some early-bird copies. ;)
Mitch Canter attended the SSBB tournament in Nashville last night and had a great time competing only to go home with his early-bird copy and learn the game didn’t work on his Wii. This morning he posted about it on twitter. So, I took the opportunity to quiz him and read his blog post.
SSBB uses a new technology called double-layer disc because it has more memory. Turns out “launch” versions of the Wii have dirty lenses and don’t play the double-layer discs.
Ninetendo cautions customers not to attempt cleaning the lenses themselves and is offering to repair “launch” Wiis within a one-week turnaround time for free.
Now I don’t know about you or your kids, but when you’re a die-hard Wii owner who has been waiting for months to get your hands on a copy of SSBB, this news is a major disappointment.
It’s March Break and my guys had been looking forward to playing with their new SSBB for ages. I’m keeping my fingers crossed but since we were early Wii owners, my hopes aren’t very high.
Why Ninetendo sat on this information is anyone’s guess. I wonder what the retailers will be doing to inform and appease their customers this morning. I’ll be watching closely.
My kids have been raised on Nintendo products. I’ll be curious to see how this affects their brand loyalty.
Talk about a Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Bummer!
Saturday, March 08, 2008
I’m guessing typically the minute you get home and see the kids, the first thing they expect after a hug and kiss, is a little gift – your way of saying…
“I missed you, please forgive me for being away … again”
Do you often find yourself scrambling for that perfect something just before you hop back on the plane? Or maybe, you take you’re little angel to the toy store and let her pick out that special toy she’s been wanting for a while.
I learned a secret from a friend of mine a long time ago. Stock up on things when you see them, that way, you’ll have them on hand when you need them.
I once saw a pro hockey player and father of two, buying enough toys at one of my favourite toy stores to last him the entire season!
A twitter pal, recently on assignment in the Middle East, ran home and took his little girl to a local Build-a-Bear Workshop. I suggested he pick up a bunch of Build-a-Bear accessories to have on hand for future use.
So, choose some toys or other trinkets for your little one before your journey. When you get home, you’ll have something on hand and a lot less stress. And you’ll thank me. ;)
Share your biz trip gift tips.
photo credit: miketklee on Flickr
While paying for my LittleMissMatched socks last week at Out on a Limb, this big, shiny new Juicy tote bag caught my eye. It’s casual, yet stylish, light weight, equipped with lots of zippered pockets and even big enough for my MacBook. There also a couple smaller matching make-up and trinkets bags you can buy to throw inside.
Ringing in at $225 (or more), it’s a little pricey for my pocketbook but there’s no harm done by wishing. Right?
Friday, March 07, 2008
International Women’s Day sale and fundraiser at nathalie-roze & co.
Everything in the store will be 10% off, including sale stock.
Proceeds will go to the Woodgreen Community Centre (a portion of sales will be donated to the Leslieville-based women’s shelter).
Save an extra 5%, if you bring toiletries & other essentials for the shelter.
Suggested Donations: shampoo, toothpaste, pads & tampons, soap, hairbrushes, moisturizer, lip balm, new undies/socks/bras, etc.
Fundraising raffle for the shelter: Enter to win one of several prize packs (including store gift certificates, beauty swag, crafting books, merchandise by in-house designers, etc.) - all ticket money raised benefits the shelter. (Tickets $2)
Labels include: Snoflake, Dagg and Stacey, Embody, Jack & Marjorie, Cha Cha, Melow (Montreal), Lilikoi, SLO, 54 East, Jules & Annie, White Lotus, Kari Lynn Bianchi, Paper People, Glasgow, Spruce Clothing, Taa Daa, Smitten Kitten, Damned Dollies, Kim's Suitcase & more...
Cupcakes will be served!
nathalie-roze & co.
1015 Queen St. E. at Pape (map)
Sat., Mar. 8
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
call: 416 792-1699
Thursday, March 06, 2008
• Tamsin - 1.5 pounds (-5.5 pounds to-date)
• Eden -.8 pound (-7.2 pounds to-date)
Being a blogger has its perks, like 12 free weeks of NutriSystem. Last night, NutriSystem had something else in store. They hosted a blogger event at Atom Egoyan’s CAMERA bar – one of the coolest venues I’ve seen in a while. It’s the perfect spot for mingling with an intimate crowd and has a small screening room at the back.
Tamsin and I were there and joined by Kathryn and Henna. They’d been following our weight loss adventures on the blog and were curious to see what all the fuss was about.
As for dinner, there were plenty of raw fruits, veggies and NutriSystem-friendly hors d’oeuvres on hand. For the curious and those with a sweet tooth, there were a few trays with NutriSystem desserts. Who would have thought of entertaining with them? Somehow, it worked.
Burlington born Jillian Barberie Reynolds hung out with the crowd and shared her experiences living in La La Land and losing her 41lbs. pregnancy weight gain with the help of NutriSystem.
She is a genuine, warm and funny woman who says what’s on her mind. I videotaped her speech so I could share it with you. Unfortunately, at 13+ minutes it was too much for my digicam to handle. You may have seen her on Breakfast Television this morning.
I asked Jillian how she’s managed to maintain her weight. Her answer was simple: although her husband is a great cook, she also likes NutriSystem food and includes it as part of her regular diet.
Another perk of the evening was having the chance to get to know Tamsin. That’s her in the picture with Jillian Barberie.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
My first package arrived last week and contained four Nestlé Noir dark chocolate bars:
• Nestle Noir Cherry
• Nestle Noir Intense
• Nestle Noir Eclat Noir
• Nestle Noir Eclat Caramel
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “She’s on NutriSystem, what the heck is she doing?”
No, I haven’t been taste testing these new dark chocolate bars from Nestlé. Instead, I’ve been spreading the Nestlé Noir love around.
Nestlé Noir Cherry
I brought the Nestlé Noir Cherry bar to the office and watched six other women enjoy it on my behalf. Everyone loved the dark chocolate mixed with little bits of dried cherries.
I was expecting at least one dissenter. Her husband travels to Switzerland frequently and he is known for brining home exquisite Swiss chocolate. Guess what? She truly enjoyed this dark, chocolate, cherry treat. I adore dried cherries so watching my co-workers ooh and ahh while enjoying the Nestlé Noir Cherry bar wasn’t easy. Guess I’ll have to wait until I reach my goal weight first but this is on my list new treats to try when I get there - in moderation, of course. ;)
Nestle Noir Eclat Noir and Nestle Noir Eclat Caramel
My husband and kids fought over the other three bars. They tasted each one. I was curious to see their reactions because all of them prefer milk chocolate. I was pleasantly surprised. Each one of them enjoyed Nestle Noir Eclat Noir and Nestle Noir Eclat Caramel, equally. Both are rich, dark chocolate bars with chocolate and caramel crisps respectively.
Nestle Noir Intense
Nestle Noir Intense with 70% cocoa was their least favourite, which isn’t to say each intense bite wasn’t savoured. They unanimously agreed they preferred the bars with crunchy bits more.
One thing is certain, these three samples weren’t enough. I settled a couple meltdowns by promising to buy them more. I’ll just wait for another 8 weeks so I can have a bite next time. ;)
Monday, March 03, 2008
How about poking a hole in one while the other is perfectly fine?
Do you like the idea of having soft and cuddly feet adorned with cheery colours on a dark dreary day?
If you’re answer was “Yes” to any of the above, check out LittleMissMatched.
I first discovered LittleMissMatched at my favourite toy store. The bright display tree filled with trios of fluffly, unmatched girls socks and gloves, in playful patterns and bright cheery colours, caught my eye. No adult sizes. Bummer!
Saturday, I took a long walk. I under estimated how cold it was outside and needed something to cover my ears. They were literally burning from the cold. I went into Out on a Limb, a cosy boutique with all kinds of goodies catering to the trendy set with full wallets.
Winter accessories were regular price while all other winter clothing was 50% off (lots of cool items left in stock, you should check it out). How disappointing! They knew they could take advantage of suckers like me who were left out in the cold.
While paying for a pair of earmuffs, I spotted a basket of brightly coloured mis-matched socks and gloves at the cash. I was lucky enough to snag the last package of LittleMissMatched socks in the store!
They weren’t on sale and at $18 they weren’t cheap either (especially compared to $14 online in the U.S.) They were oh so cute. I figured what the heck and decided to treat myself.
So what’s the deal, what makes LittleMissMatched socks remarkable?
• You get 3 to a pack so if you lose one, you’ll still have a mate, solving the age-old problem of the disappearing sock (or glove)
• Your socks are never the same, yet they always (mis)match
• They’ll invite your inner-child to come out and play
• You can either submit your own design or help choose one
• If you have lots of time, you can hang out on her website and blog for hours ;)
I’m somewhat ticked they won’t ship to Canada but they will send me a list of retailers in my area. If you do live in the U.S. and sign up for the email list, you’ll get a free pack of socks with your first order and chances to win more goodies if your friends join the mailing list too.
By the way, LittleMissMatch sells a lot more than socks. Is this a cool concept or what?