Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Weekly wish - a new laptop

This week, I’m getting right to the point. I want a laptop. Specifically, I’d like one of those brand new faster MacBooks or a MacBook Pro.

’Cause mesh is starting today and I’d like to be live blogging just like most other participants. Instead I’ll be watching each one of them and salivating, wishing I could be doing the same thing. The thought of being offline for two days while watching others tapping away on their laptops and crackberries is giving me the shakes.

I’m also getting tired of being tied down to a desktop and I want to take advantage of living in a city filled with Wi-Fi.

So, if you’re an Apple employee (hint, hint), an Apple retailer or even a marketer willing to bribe me with another brand, I’ll give you a fabulous sponsorship opportunity on Bargainista.

Hey, you can’t blame a girl for trying. ; )

Technorati tags: Apple, laptop, live blogging, MacBook, mesh, mesh07, mesh2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch VII - the recap

Brassaii was host to yet another TFBB today. We had large, lively and eclectic group of bloggers and journalists:

Adrian Corsin, Fashion Verbatim
Andrew Sardone, Now Magazine
Anita Clarke, I want - I got
Carolyn Rohaly, TFI Blog
Eden Spodek, Bargainista
Gail McInnes, Plutino Group
Henna Singh, Canadian Beauty
Hilary George-Parkin, Static Fashion
Kate Trgovac, My Name is Kate
Marissa Liu, Yo Porro
Nathalie Atkinson, National Post
Samra Habib, Rouge
Tiffanie Ing, Toronto Street Fashion
Zaigham Zulqernain, Week of Style
along with other members of our community

As usual, interesting conversation ensued:
Week of Style
lack of fashion for men
pitching bloggers (there are some great posts if you want to learn how to do it right)
similarities and differences between bloggers and traditional journalists (Is there a higher level of accountability? Do we have the same authority? Can a small niche audience be as important as a large one?, etc.)
Lots of food for thought to say the least.

And speaking of food...

Brassaii knew just how to treat us. Liam our server, kept surprising us with his fashion knowledge. The food was yummy and a few of us got some parting gifts: fresh baked croissants. Only one complaint: the “no individual bill” policy.

photo credit: geekgirl on flickr

Technorati tags: Brassaii, TFBB, Week of Style

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mother-Daughter Nancy Drew event @ Roots

Visit Roots on Bloor with your mother or daughter for a Nancy Drew promo and get the royal treatment... have a manicure, facial, and snacks.
Win one of 10 double passes to see Nancy Drew, the movie.

May 26: 11 a.m.-1 p.m

110 Bloor St. W. (map)

Technorati tags: daughters, facial, manicure, mothers, Nancy Drew, Oxia, Roots

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch VII - May 27 reminder

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

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch (TFBB)

461 King St. W. (map)

May 27, 2007
11:30 a.m.

Special shout-out to Danielle for her wonderful Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster, Anita for her technical expertise support and Carolyn for co-ordinating this event.

RSVP by logging on to

Technorati tags: Brassaii, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, blogging, fashion, social media, TFBB

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Weekly wish - Simons in Toronto

I spent last weekend in Montreal. And like almost every other trip, I never have enough time to shop. Saturday on Sainte-Catherine was awesome. It was a warm, sunny day and it seemed like just about everyone was out walking.

Of course I made sure to visit my favorite department store – Simons. I could have spent half a day there but I only had an hour (my boys would say I was there forever, but I digress.) I scored big – I bought four spring/summer tops and spent a whopping $75 plus tax! What I love about Simons is how they somehow manage to keep prices very reasonable, yet offer fashion-conscious clothing. Unlike some of the bigger chains, I also won’t see the same thing on half a dozen other women walking down the street.

In addition to women’s clothing, they also carry accessories, lingerie, menswear, and housewares. Unfortunately, Simons is only in Quebec.

So what’s my wish for this week? You guessed it...I wish Simons would open up shop in Toronto. I’ve heard a few rumours but they never come true. I’d love to give more support to a Canadian company, wouldn’t you?

Why don’t you share your weekly shopping wish with Bargainista. Leave a comment.

Technorati tags: Montreal, Quebec, Simons, Sainte-Catherine

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mastermind Warehouse Sale

Mastermind, my favorite toy store is having a Really Great Toy Warehouse Sale
Up to 70% off more than 10,000 assorted discontinued, discounted toys or items with slightly damaged packaging

1430 Birchmount Ave. (map)

May 23 -25: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
May 26: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
May 27: noon to 5 p.m.
May 28: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (subject to change depending on inventory)

Technorati tags: Mastermind

Schwartz’s – smoked meat on rye for less than $5

There’s a reason I didn’t blog last weekend – I was on vacation. Last Thursday night, we packed up and headed off to Montreal.

Besides spending time with family, the boys had two requests:
Shrek the Third; and,
smoked meat sandwiches from Schwartz’s.

If you’ve never been to Schwartz’s before, it’s quite the culinary adventure. Diners line up around the block to have a quick bite in a 75-year-old deli packed with strangers. We shared a table with another family visiting from Toronto!

Trust me, little has changed over the years. The restaurant is essentially a hole in the wall. But who cares? At Schwartz’s, as long as you’re munching on a tantalizing original world famous smoked meat sandwich or rib eye steak, your palate won’t be disappointed. Neither will your wallet. At $4.95 for a delicious thick cut, generous smoked meat sandwich, this is one of the best buys in town.

Have you had a meal Schwartz’s? What did you think? Have you ever placed an online order? Share your experience and leave a comment.

Technorati tags: deli, Montreal, rib eye steak, Schwartz’s, smoked meat

Katya Revenko trunk show and sample sale

Desperately Different designer sale by Katya Revenko:

Desperately Different by Katya Revenko
Trunk Show and Sample Sale
Customer pre-order of Fall 2007 Collection!!!
(cash deposit is required)

May 25-26, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

The Spa Suite @ the Gladstone Hotel (map)
1214 Queen St. West, #213

RSVP appreciated

Technorati tags: Katya Revenko, The Gladstone Hotel

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Weekly wish - new shoes

There’s nothing I’d like to buy more right now than a few new pairs of shoes or sandals. I’m so discouraged at this point, one pair would do.

I love shoes, especially new ones but I have a tough time finding a pair that are:
in style
available in my size
the right colour

Last weekend, I checked out three shoe stores. Zola was incredible and had me drooling but at $500+ for a pair of flat sandals; it was out of my range.

Nine West had several fabulous styles with heel heights that were high enough without looking like I work on Jarvis St. at night but nothing fit properly... and I tried at least half a dozen.

I’m no Goldilocks so the third store (Rockport - don’t laugh) wasn’t right either. There was a nice basic black sandal, sophisticated enough for the office and comfortable enough for weekend walking. Wouldn’t ya know, they were out of my size. I could have bought a brown pair but they were a dull shade and I just wasn’t feeling them.

To make matters worse, I never saw enough staff on hand to provide adequate customer service.

Today I’m wishing for my own personal shopper so I’ll have two happy feet and ten twinkling toes sparkling bright in a new pair of shoes.

Technorati tags: Nine West, Rockport, Zola Shoes

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook, a social networking site originally developed for university students and recently opened to anyone over the age of 13, has taken Toronto by storm. We have the highest number of members per capita in the world! It’s highly addictive. I joined in March and it’s my favorite online hangout, and it just got better ’cause now I can shop there too!

Facebook Marketplace launched the other day. Basically, it’s a free online classifieds ad service where members can post things they want to sell or find things they want to buy. I’ve seen everything from slightly used iPods, t-shirts and used cars. There are even job opportunities. It’s sort of like Craigslist for Facebook members.

Looking for that rare item? Have something taking up too much space you want to purge? Join Facebook and try out the marketplace today and while you’re there, join the Bargainista group.

Technorati tags: classifieds, Craigslist, Facebook, Facebook Marketplace, online shopping

Monday, May 14, 2007

Kylie’s victory dance

Mother’s Day isn’t the only thing I celebrated last weekend. On Friday night, a group of us went out to celebrate our friend’s last treatment for breast cancer. She has recovered beautifully and been an amazing model of dignity, inspiration and strength for us all... celebration indeed.

Yesterday, I popped into H&M and picked up some gifts and couldn’t miss the Kylie Minogue inspired swimsuit collection: H&M loves Kylie. Last night we took the kids to a movie where they aired a promo of Kylie prancing around in a bikini and co-ordinating cover-ups. What a model of grace and beauty. She looks incredible. Her new short haircut may even start a trend.

In honour of these women and many others like them, this Mother’s Day, make a difference and help other women who are battling this horrible disease. Please sponsor me for the Weekend to End Breast Cancer.

Technorati tags: breast cancer, H&M, Kylie Minogue, Mother’s Day, Weekend to End Breast Cancer

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Two great new suits from H&M

Every working woman needs a basic black suit. So why are stylish ones so hard to find?

I first set out to find a new one in January. I spent almost three hours in one store with a dedicated salesperson and my own private change area. I was even willing to spend some pretty serious coin. No go. Nothing fit well. It was all too boring. How discouraging!

I've been keeping an eye out ever since but I just wasn’t feeling it.

Lately, my shopping expeditions have comprised almost exclusively in visits to the Apple Store. While waiting for a mac genius one Saturday, I took a quick peek inside H&M. Whadda ya know, I found a sweet-looking black suit. Problem was, I didn't have time to try it on before my appointment.

The next morning, I showed up just after doors opened, picked up the suit among other pieces and b-lined to the fitting room. The suit fit like a charm! I scored a great natural linen pant suit with a cropped jacket and patch pockets too! Best thing is they cost $100 each (pants $39.99; jackets $59.99). And at those prices, if they only last a year or two, who cares?

Technorati tags: H&M, women’s suits

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Weekly wish - Mother’s Day at the spa

I don’t know about you but I’ve been feeling pretty run down lately. So I’ll keep this short and sweet.

Could it be that DSMS syndrome is finally catching up with me? Maybe it’s because I just finished a big project at work or took care of everything at home while my hubby was away? Who knows. What I do know is I’m in need of a day off, time alone with my man and some old fashioned TLC.

Well, Sunday is Mother’s Day so maybe I’ll be in luck. This week, possibly like every other mom on the planet, I’m wishing for a weekend getaway with my husband.

My pick, Cosmopolitan Toronto – a lovely little spot in downtown Toronto I learned of after a friend’s recent visit – Mother’s Day Extravaganza. Cost: a mere $550.

In all seriousness though, I’d be just as thrilled to get some homemade cards or gifts from my boys. Cost: priceless.

What’s your Mother’s Day wish? Share your favorite Mother’s Day Gift. Leave a comment.

Technorati tags: Cosmopolitan Toronto, DSMS syndrome, Mother’s Day, spa

C'mon over to the DORC side

Now that the sunshine is here, Crocs are ubiquitous once again:

Technorati tags: Crocs, Dorc, footwear, YouTube

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Esprit warehouse sale starts Wedneday

Esprit Warehouse Sale
Save up to 80% off on Esprit collection for men and women
Also, save on premium quality JOCKEY underwear and socks men, women & kids
Courtesy of StyleDemocracy

May 9-May 11: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
May 12-May 13: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The International Centre - Hall 4 (map)
6900 Airport Road at Derry Rd

Technorati tags: Esprit, Jockey

Monday, May 07, 2007

Your Favourite Warehouse Sale - May 10-12

• Your Favourite Warehouse Sale
• Up to 70% off clothing, accessories, gifts galore
• Print and bring this flyer to save an extra $5 off purchases of $50 or more

70 Wingold Ave. (map)
(Entrance and parking in the rear of the buildingÂș

May 10-May 11: noon to 7 p.m.
May 12: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Technorati tags: accessories, clothing, gifts, shopping, warehouse sales

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Dear Bargainista - #11

Carla writes...
Hey Bargainista!
It’s getting nice outside, the sun is shining bright! And...I need sunglasses. Big sunglasses have been all the rage and I want a pair too. The problem is, theres just too many places to get sunglasses and I’m not sure what style to look for. I currently wear prescription glasses, but it’s not too bad. I really want a pair of Marc Jacobs sunglasses because they are so cute. However, I havent had any luck finding any. Perhaps Im looking in all the wrong places. So, will you throw some help over my way?
TYVM in advance!
Dear Carla,
You have great taste. Marc Jacobs is one of the most talented designers on the planet.

I found a variety of online stores for you to choose from and even shows which frames work with prescriptions (including the pair pictured on the right). has a large selection of Marc Jacob’s sunglasses and a separate page for just for sale items. Yahoo! offers an easy way for you to do some comparison shopping.

As for the style, it’s always best to buy what suits you. No matter how great the style on it’s own, if it doesn’t suit you don’t bother. There are photos of models wearing several frames from Marc Jacobs’ collection at Look at the shape of their faces and the frames they're wearing. It will give you an idea of which ones may best suit your features.

You’ll also need a pair that protects your eyes from harmful rays. Besides style, the other great thing about sunglasses with large frames is how much they protect your face and may help prevent premature aging. Read “Sunglasses - Choose Sunglasses that Look Great and Protect Your Eyes”at for more information.

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

Technorati tags:, accessories, giarre, Marc Jacobs, Neiman Marcus, sunglasses, Yahoo!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Free comic book day and family fun with Hatley

What’s not to love about street shopping on a beautiful sunny day like today?

Here’s two great ideas to include on your route and entertain your whole family for free...

Free Comic Book Day - May 6:
Paradise Comics, my favorite neighbourhood comics store is taking part again this year. Find a participating store near you.

Family Fun with Hatley - Grand Opening Celebration May 5 &6:
Hatley (map) has the cutest rain gear for the whole family and now it’s 25% off. (Thanks for the tip.)

Technorati tags: clothing, comics, events, Free Comic Book Day, Hatley Nature, rain boots, rain hats

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Weekly wish - keep those undies outta site!

Is it just me?

In as many days, I’ve seen two young women with next to nothing on. No, I wasn’t at the gym, swimming pool, a fitting room or a beach. I was walking my son to school and riding the subway to work.

I passed fashion victim #1 on my morning walk. A neighbourhood teenager passed by. It was pretty chilly out, barely above the freezing mark. Her skirt was barely below her butt. I sure hope she was wearing nice undies. Trust me, everyone at school must have seen them.

On the subway, fashion fashion victim #2 got up from her seat and from behind, I could see more of her thong than I should have. She was wearing low-rise pants so I thought it was just an oversight on her part ... boy, was I wrong! She turned around and I saw her thong (and belly) hangin’ out all around. Strange thing was, she wasn’t a Britney wanna be. She was conservatively dressed and lacking in the style department. Not a pretty site, not at all.

So this week, I’m wishing for a favour. Don’t let this happen to you. Use some discretion. Buck bad fashion trends. Keep your dignity and please, what ever you do, unless you’re modeling for Victoria’s Secret, hide your undies in public!

Technorati tags: Britney Spears, thongs, undies, Victoria’s Secret, wishes

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch VII - May 27

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

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch (TFBB)

461 King St. W. (map)

May 27, 2007
11:30 a.m.

Special shout-out to Danielle for her wonderful Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster, Anita for her technical expertise support and Carolyn for co-ordinating this event.

RSVP by logging on to

Technorati tags: Brassaii, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, blogging, fashion, social media, TFBB,