Sunday, February 25, 2007

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch IV

I snuck out of PodCamp and scooted across town to attend Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch IV. It was great seeing everyone again and definitely worth the trip.
We discussed lots of interesting stuff:
Fashion vs. style - can you have one without the other?
• Shopping and manufacturing - how does Joe Fresh provide such great quality at such low prices? Is it awesome or boring?
• Fashion Weeks: London and New York - Marc Jacobs definitely the highlight
• Upcoming events - Toronto Fashion Week

We had some new faces:
• Miki, a fashion blog reader (how cool is that?)
• Marlene Shiff from boutique le trou, shared interesting insights and experiences working with Canadian designers

And familiar ones:
• Anita of I want - I got and blogTO
Toronto Fashion Incubator diarist Carolyn Rohaly
• Danielle of final fashion
• Adrian of Fashion Verbatim
• Rachel, Sonja and Tiffanie from

As usual brunch at The Drake Hotel was yummy. (Unfortunately, I didn't stay long enough to make the photo session at the end.)

I'm looking forward to TFBB V.

photo credit: Danielle of final fashion

Technorati tags: fashion, podcamptoronto 2007, TFBB, Toronto Fashion Blogger Brunch

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sporting Life (end of) winter sale

Sporting Life winter sale - I was entered into a draw for a $250 gift card. Am I special or just one of the other thousands of customers in their database?

Did you get one too? Does it make you want to sign-up?

Register now for the annual Sporting Life 10k race supporting Camp Oochigeas - Canada's first sleepover camp for children with cancer.

Technorati tags: Camp Oochigeas, sales, shopping, Sporting Life

Friday, February 23, 2007

Listen up!

PodCamp Toronto Feb. 24-25 is FREE!Did you know you don't need an iPod to listen to podcasts?

Podcasts are just a fancy way packaging audio recordings. You can listen to them on iPods, computers, mp3 and CD players; and, subscribe for updates.


Technorati tags: iPodLostmp3podcamptorontopodcastScotiabankThe Money Clip

Thursday, February 22, 2007

American Apparel & Roots promo codes

American Apparel is having a winter sale - don't forget to use the discount code "WINTERSALE07" and save an additional 15% off selected styles:
Note: Check the website for the fine print.

Roots - once again don't forget to use the discount code "ENJOY25" and until Feb. 25, buy a leather bag and you can still get a gift card:

Note: Check the website and a store near you for the fine print.

Technorati tags: accessories, American Apparel, clothing, Roots, sales, shopping

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Announcing “After a Fashion”... a Canadian “Girl’s Night Out” in Second Life

You may remember my recent shopping trip with Kathryn Lagden in Second Life. I asked if anyone was interested in joining me on my next shopping visit. I thought a night out with the girls would be much more fun than venturing out on my own in this strange but enchanting new world.


Technorati tags: After a FashionKate Trgovac
Katicus Sparrow, Kathryn LagdenParadise WunderlandSecond Life, shopping

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Twinkle toes

I don't know about your neighbourhood, but in the last couple years, there has been an explosion of nail salons in mine.

It didn't take long for me to find my favorite one and now I'm hooked. I go for regular manicures and pedicures throughout the year. I used to limit them to sandal season only. Now I can't resist.

During the summer, pedicures are easy. I wear a pair of flip flops so the esthetician can polish my toenails and I can let them dry without getting smudged. In the colder fall and winter months, it's a bit of a challenge. My salon used to provide this nifty little saran wrap and customers put them on before their shoes/boots and socks. Now they use small thin plastic bags to do the trick. Either way, it's a bit awkward and a tad uncomfortable.

That was until now. Toronto esthetician, Liana Provenzano is a genius. She designed a special sock - Toes-eez - life will never be the same again! Toes-eez come in two styles: thong-like and toeless (think fingerless gloves for the foot).

The idea is to put them on just before your toes are polished. Your toenails will be exposed while Toes-eez help moisturisers penetrate your skin and keep your feet warm until your nails have dried.

Sold in select local salons and shops in the city for about $10, Toes-eez are a must-have for those of us gals who insist on pedicures when it's chilly outside. Call Metro Beauty Supplies 905 791-7722.

Available at JC Salons, 2326 & 2316A Bloor St. W., or for a store near you call Metro Beauty Supplies at 905 791 7977.

Technorati tags: pedicures, Toes-eez

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dear Bargainista - #5

Adam from Toronto writes:
Where can I buy andouille sausage in Toronto (it's smoked sausage typically used in gumbo recipes)?

Take care,

Hi Adam,

Yes, andouille sausages are very hard to find in this city, but there are a few places that offer them.

1. Cajun Corner - Leslieville (map)
They are frozen but are not that bad. It is also a great place to get other stuff for gumbo recipes.

2. Healthy Butcher - Queen West West (map)
Very expensive but worth every cent. Call before going though because it is not a staple.

3. St. Lawrence Market - South Market (map)
Probably the cheapest and most reliable. They have several other varieties of sausages there too.

I know that Thuet serves them in a few dishes in his restaurant. It may be worth calling him (416.603.2777) and seeing where he does his shopping...however, it also wouldn't surprise me if he made them himself ;)

Let me know which ones work best for you. Leave a comment.


Dear Bargainista would love to hear from you too! Have a question about shopping, fashion or food? E-mail us.

Techorati tags: andouille, cajun cooking, food, St. Lawrence Market, Thuet

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Weekend update - sitting pretty

Aritzia snooze you lose sale – 50 - 70% off - ends tomorrow:

via: I want - I got

UpCountry's winter clearance sale on now:

This week's feature (while quantities last):

• Trestle Dining table S & 6 Cosmo highback chairs at $995 (reg. $2395) in R6 Mocha fabric only

Check for weekly special features on their website and in The Globe & Mail (Thursday Review, Saturday Style sections).

Ikea has up to 50% on selected bedding (and deals on beds) this weekend.

Technorati tags: fashion, furniture, sales, shopping,

Friday, February 16, 2007

Body Blue's goin' skeletal with their last chance sale

Full disclosure, my sister used to work at Body Blue back in the days when there was one tiny location on the Danforth.

When I read about the sale on I want - I got, I e-mailed Sam, the owner. He wants you to know that new clothing from the spring collection is arriving daily.

Today, the number of brands has expanded and the Danforth shop is bigger. Sam added a second location on Queen West a few years ago.

Body Blue's Last Chance Sale
Up to 70% off designer jeans

724 Queen West
201 Danforth Ave.

Now! Whadda waitin' for?

Thanks to geekgirl for sharing.

Technorati tags: Body Blue, denim, fashion, jeans, sales, shopping

Estée Lauder's got a brand new bag at Holts

Spend $60 or more on Estée Lauder products at Holt Renfrew and get this:

• Batik-print bag and matching cosmetic bag
• Re-Nutrive Ultimate Lifting Cream -7ml
• Re-Nutrive Ultimate Lifting Cream -7ml
• Pure Colour Long Lasting Lipstick in Sunstone - 3ml
• More than Mascara in Rich Black
• Golden-fluted compact with Pure Colour Eye Shadows

Find a location near you.

Note: the promo runs through Mar. 4 or while supplies last, only one per customer.

Technorati tags: bargains, cosmetics, Estée Lauder, Holt Renfrew, make-up, shopping

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Kissing the winter goodbye sale

"Kissing the winter goodbye"
• Women's designer fashions
• Entire store on sale
• Sizes xs-xl

Dee.sou clothing gallery inc.
1712 Avenue Rd. (map)

Sat. Feb. 17-Sat. Feb. 25

Technorati tags: fashion, sales, shopping

Little shoes, bigger sale

Olly's winter shoe blowout sale was extended another week. Prices dropped another $5:

All sale footwear only $19.99
Including: Keen, Nine West Kids, Umi, Nina Kids, Tsukihoshi!

Now until Feb. 19, 2007

Olly's Canadian Stores

Technorati tags: children's shoes, sales, shopping

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Clinique bonus at The Bay

Denise M. asked me to share her favourite cosmetic promo...
The Bay has a sweet Clinique bonus package now through Feb. 25.

Buy $26.50 or more of Clinique products you'll get:
• Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
• Deep Comfort Body Butter
• Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent
• Different Lipstick in Think Bronze
• Different Lipstick in A Different Grape
• High Impact Mascara in Black
• Cosmetics Bag

Note: This offer is valid while quantities last. Check with your nearest Bay location for details.

Technorati tags: bargains, beauty, Clinique, cosmetics, The Bay

Monday, February 12, 2007

Barbie inspires M•A•C

When I was a little girl, I played with dolls. Barbies were may absolute favorite. The first recollection I have was when I was 3. My late grandfather always wanted me to cut my hair so for his birthday, I gave my first Barbie her first hair cut.

Last week I received some mail (yes, the real kind not e-mail) from M•A•C. I was so excited when I opened the envelope and saw a compact-shaped fold-out booklet with a hot pink silhouette of Barbie's head beside the M•A•C logo.

Barbie Loves M•A•C is the Barbie-inspired new spring collection available at M•A•C stores and cosmetic counters starting tomorrow. It's full of hot pinks, neutrals and bright eye shadows with names like Playful, Whistle and Springtime Skipper.

M•A•C even built a whole set of looks around Barbie themes. My fav is Malibu Barbie. (See the pic on the right.) What's yours?

For a limited time you can even buy powdered blushes and eye shadows with an etching of Barbie's head. There are special edition items like the M•A•C Barbie and M•A•C Barbie Ts too.

Do you collect Barbies? Would you wear Barbie make-up? Is Barbie still a good role model for girls in 2007 or is she a throwback to the '60s?

Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

Technorati tags: Barbie, cosmetics, dolls, M•A•C, make-up

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Shopping in Second Life

UPDATE: Join me for "After a Fashion" on Monday, Feb. 26.

 It would take several posts to explain Second Life and I'm a newbie. If this is all new to you, here's a summary.

Although Second Life is entirely an online community, I first learned about it several months ago in the newspaper. The article was about a stay-at-home mom from Vancouver who created an entire virtual existence.


Technorati tags: American Apparelbargainsfashion showsKate TrgovacKathryn LagdenSecond Lifeshopping

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hughie, Drewy & coffee at Roots

When it comes to Hugh Grant playing a romantic lead, I'm a bit of a sucker. I've seen all his romantic comedies. And you have to admit, Drew is just as cute as a button. I may not see Music and Lyrics in the theatre but I will definitely rent the DVD release.

So what does all this have to do with Roots? It's a bit complicated, please bare with me while I explain it to you.

Roots on Bloor is having a Karaoke kinda Valentine's Day event this weekend promoting Music and Lyrics - the new Hugh/Drew romantic comedy opening on Valentine's Day - among other things.

I think you're supposed to show up during a 2-hour window and sing Music and Lyrics Karaoke to win a prize. I'm not sure if everyone wins a prize (in-store discounts, movie passes) but the "best singer of the day" will win something special. Sorry, I couldn't find any details on their website, read what Mike Sage had to say.

Did you know Roots sells coffee now too? Well as part of the VD promo, you can bring your special someone to the Roots Organic Coffee House for a complimentary coffee. Who knew?

It won't be able to make it today - it's my son's b-day - and I'm curious to see how this turns out. So, if you go please share your story and leave a comment.

Roots Get Ready for Valentine's Day Event

100 Bloor St. W. (map)

Sat. Feb. 10 - 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 11 - 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

Music and Lyrics
Roots' Valentine collection (I'm a sucker for their bags, love the heart tags too) and,
• Roots Organic Coffee House

Update - watch the movie trailer:

Technorati tags: coffee, Drew Barrymore, Hugh Grant, Karaoke, Music and Lyrics, Roots, Valentine's Day

Friday, February 09, 2007

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch TFBB - the Feb. 07 edition

You're invited! Calling all local fashion bloggers or fashion blog lovers:

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch (TFBB)

The Drake
1150 Queen St. W.

Feb. 25, 2007
11:30 a.m.

Special shout-out to Danielle for the inspiration, Anita for carrying the ball and Adrian for the wonderful, Warhol-inspired graphic.

RSVP by logging on to

Technorati tags: blogging, fashion, social media, TFBB, The Drake

Music to my ears

Just in time for my favorite drummer's birthday:

Long & McQuade's nation-wide inventory blowout sale

24 locations across Canada

Fri. Feb. 9
Sat. Feb. 10

Technorati tags: Long & McQuade, music, sale, shopping

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jeans, JuJubes and Rainbow

My favorite memories of Over the Rainbow are the jujubes in the big glass jars. The best selection of jeans are there too! Now you can buy great stuff at Rainbow's end of season sale for up to 70% off:

Technorati tags: clothing, fashion, jeans, sales, shopping

Sleep tight

Bedroom sets are on sale this month at UpCountry:

Technorati tags: beds, furniture, sales, shopping, sleep

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sad day

Actually, it's been a very sad week.

Another mom in the neighbourhood died of breast cancer on Monday. She left behind her three young children. The last time I saw her was at a school concert in December. She'd just received bad news but nothing was going to get in the way of her watching her sons perform. She spent the evening smiling from ear-to-ear.

Her obituary was in the paper today - I knew she was a fighter but hadn't realized how much of one she'd been. I'm going to her memorial tomorrow.

A close friend of mine is fighting breast cancer now. Tonight we shared some tears.

Another friend just had surgery to prevent it from coming back.

My mom died of breast cancer when she was only 37 - I was 15; my sister was 12.

Help me help make a difference and together we can make breast cancer history!

I'm participating in The Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital. I will be walking 79,200 steps (60 km). I did it in 2004 and I'm determined to do it again but I can't do it alone.

Please support my journey and together we'll have fewer sad days. : )

Thank you.

Technorati tags: breast cancer, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, fundraising, Princess Margaret Hospital, Weekend to End Breast Cancer, walking

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Chocolate seduction

Myfashionistas present Temptation by Fashion & Chocolate
Enjoy an evening of Belgian chocolate tasting, Negra Modelo Beer sampling and a fashion show preview of new 2007 lingerie and swimwear collections from SHAN

Fire & Ice Lounge - at C Lounge (map)
456 Wellington Street West

Thursday February 8, 2007
8:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.

'Cause chocolate is divine. What a better way to spend an evening that chocolate tasting, chocolate infused cocktails and a chocolate fountain with plenty of fresh fruit for dipping.

February is the hottest time for buying lingerie - always a Valentine's treat!

Technorati tags: beer, chocolate, fashion shows, lingerie, swimwear, Valentine's Day

Monday, February 05, 2007

Little shoes, big sale

Olly is having a winter shoe blowout sale this week:

All sale footwear only $24.99
Including: Keen, Nine West Kids, Umi, Nina Kids, Tsukihoshi!

Feb. 3-Feb. 11, 2007

Olly's Canadian Stores

Technorati tags: children's shoes, sales, shopping

Sunday, February 04, 2007

(Shoe) Deal or no Deal Canada

Just in time for the post-Super Bowl premiere of Deal or No Deal Canada, Town Shoes is at it again with another one of their curious promos:

From now through Feb. 14 get an extra 10%-20% off any sale purchase.

Note: This is an in-store offer.

Technorati tags: Deal or No Deal Canada, marketing, sales, shoes

Customer Service for Dummies

Okay, so Indigo’s Valentine’s promotion worked – sort of.

I needed a gift and wanted a new book so I went to Indigo yesterday. I chose a couple of birthday cards too so I could “win” a Valentine’s gift.

I picked up a book from the Dummies’ series. I saw a print ad on the back page of the Globe’s book section – all Dummies’ books were supposed to be 30% off through April (and another 10% off for iRewards members.) Pretty straightforward, right? Wrong!

The cashier was a bit flustered. She didn’t think I could use my iRewards card and receive the Valentine promo. (Odd since I received an e-mail notification of the promo because I was an iRewards member.) She checked and sure enough, the two promos could be used together. I also had a $5 off coupon from my iRewards renewal package.

The charge seemed too high, about $10 more than I thought. I asked to see the itemized bill (I don’t know about you but I hate how the new cash registers print out a signature slip before the itemized bill when you’re paying by credit card.) The Dummies’ book was regular price. I promptly and politely told the cashier the book was on sale.

Cashier: “But it’s not coming up on sale on the machine”.

I told her about the ad in the paper. She called another sales associate for help. A surly man came over to help out. Service-oriented he was not.

Surly guy: “Not all Dummies books are on sale!”

Me: “But there was a full-page add in today’s Globe.”

Surly guy: “If they make a mistake, we’re not responsible.”

Me: “What!, isn’t that an issue between Indigo and the Globe? Shouldn’t you be honoring it?” (C’mon, someone at head office approves all print ads before they go to press. I know how press approvals work.)

Surly guy: “Do you have a copy of the ad?”

Me: “No.” (I don’t make a habit of carrying a newspaper around when I go shopping. Do you?)

Staffer #3 was called in. (Let's call her Janie)
Surly guy: “Oh Janie, have you seen a copy of the ad?”

Janie: “No.”

Surly guy: Is that the Books’ section of the Globe in your hand?

Janie: “Yes.”

Surly guy: Is there an ad on the back cover?”

Janie: “Let’s see.”

Surly guy: “Yes, it does say ALL Dummies books are on sale. Okay, we’ll give you a refund then.”

I breathed a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. Surly guy insisted on some funny cash register gymnastics. He was explaining how he was doing this and that and I’d actually end up getting some extra cash back because he couldn’t do something on the machine. Huh!

I pleaded with him to refund the original sale and start over so I could understand what he was doing. He refused. Several minutes later, after he turned at least as many other customers away from the cash, his cash register gymnastics failed, so he refunded the sale and started from scratch. Duh!

Boy, was my patience tested? It took me about 20 minutes to pay for a couple books and cards.

This whole situation could have been easily avoided:
• I could have shopped online helped cancer patients and skipped the movie passes – I never see movies on Monday nights anyway.

Indigo employees (especially cashiers) should have been briefed on all promotions and customers should be given the benefit of the doubt – why weren't copies of print/online ads available by the cash registers and the staff rooms?

And for those of you wondering about the Valentine gifts for purchases, I couldn’t get a list of the prize odds but it seemed like everyone was getting a 2-for-1 Monday night Cineplex movie pass.

Technorati tags: books, customer service, marketing, Valentine's Day

Friday, February 02, 2007

Provocative undies

I can't believe AA trademarked Pantytime! Do we really need to see a woman with plumber butt?

Check out their Valentine's packages of undies for women and men, or get 15% selected items if you shop online:

Are you buying?

Note: Free shipping is for purchases $50+, conditions apply

Technorati tags: American Apparel, online shopping, panties, sales

Thursday, February 01, 2007

What's a Free-A-Store-Us-Rex?

Ever heard of Tomorrow it may be as well-known as Google! That's probably a bit of an overstatement but you can bet if Scott MacDonald changes his name to Free-A-Store-Us-Rex, it will be on the tips everyone's tongues along with


image credit: on flickr

Technorati tags: charitieschoosemyname.comIm Jai HousemarketingOne Red Paper Clipsocial media

Girls are geeks too!

I don't know if I'm a geek but I've attended two Geek Dinners, most recently on January 25.

Kathryn Lagden, Doug Walker, Michael Seaton and Mitch Joel have already blogged about this informal gathering of people passionate for social media. Curious? Read what they had to say.

Why would you care?
• I attended my first Geek Dinner last September. I met some great people who inspired me to start blogging, so I started Bargainista.

• I wanted to show you that girls go to Geek Dinners too. Pictures from past dinners just show the guys. Look closely, that's me on the left, Ken Schafer (OneDegree and Tucows) is in the middle and that's Michelle Tampoya on the right.

Why the iPod?
This Geek Dinner followed a fabulous AIMS event, Should Your Company be Podcasting. Get it?

Photo credit: Kathryn Lagden :)

Technorati tags: AIMS Canada, Geek Dinner

Gem of a sale

Bijoux Fantasy 3-Day Jewelry and Accessory Sale

Feb. 1 - Feb. 3

Thursday 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Saturday 10 5 p.m.

The Bead Cafe
970 Eglinton Ave. W. (map)


Technorati tags: accessories, jewellery, sales, shopping