Sunday, September 30, 2007

TV show host needed: must love shoes & bags

I had an awesome request from Sonya Jampolsky of Ocean Entertainment the other day. She’s looking for a shoe-a-holic, bag-lover to host a new TV show she’s developing. Is this the dream job you’ve been waiting for? Take the quiz. This may be your lucky break!

In case you’re wondering, Ocean Entertainment is the same production company responsible for the Gemini Award winning Chef at Home with Michael Smith.

Interested? Contact Sonya directly. Make sure to let us know what happens.

Technorati tags: Ocean Entertainment, Sonya Jampolsky, TV host

Friday, September 28, 2007

Tip of the Week - don’t be suckered in by the sale tag

I’m giving all the credit for this week’s tip to Nina Garcia:
“Don’t be suckered in by the sale tag.
Paying $100 for a pair of jeans that cost $200 is a great deal. But if you are never going to wear those jeans, you don’t need them, or really even like them, that’s a very expensive deal.”
You can read other tips from Nina in her sweet new book: The Little Black Book of Style. Enjoy!

Photo credit: by shanestroud on flickr

Technorati tags: HarperCollins, Nina Garcia, The Little Black Book of Style

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Alexandra Ruget of Panem et Circenses who wins a copy of Nina Garcia’s The Little Black Book of Style.

You can read Alexandra’s style tip here.

Alexandra, please e-mail me with your mailing address.

Thanks to everyone who participated - your style tips are awesome. Special thanks HarperCollins Canada for providing the prize.

Technorati tags: Alexandra Ruget, HarperCollins, Nina Garcia, The Little Black Book of Style

Monday, September 24, 2007

Win The Little Black Book of Style

I just finished reading Nina Garcia’s The Little Black Book of Style. I’m pleased to report it’s not a little black book of superficial information about how to be the next Paris, Britney, Ashley or Mary-Kate. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Her inspiration comes from real women.

After a summer of bad blog pitches and tag lines making females feel like they’re never good enough, Nina Garcia starts the season off with a feel good message for young girls and older women alike – it’s inner beauty that matters. No matter what you wear (and this book goes into great depth about what to wear and what not to wear) it’s how you feel about yourself and how those feelings contribute to your personal sense of style that’s important. Yeah, Nina!

According to Garcia:
“Style comes from knowing who you and what you want to be in the world; it does not come from waiting to be somebody else, or wanting to be thinner, shorter, taller, prettier. Many of the most stylish women in the world have not been great beauties, but they have all drawn from an enormous amount of self-confidence. They made us think they were beautiful simply by believing in themselves.”
And don’t be fooled by her pedigree. This Elle fashion director and Project Runway judge with a penchant for the finest fabrics, jewels and designer labels, still knows the value of a bargain and has a warm place in her heart for H&M, my current fave.

When it comes to her tips on editing your closet, she wisely advocates buying clothes that fit instead of sizes you hope to wear someday:
“I much prefer to be seduced by chocolate and a pair of pants that flatters me.”
I think we’d get along famously. ; ) Garcia shares all kinds of great advice in this elegant coffee table book. I’m thinking of sharing in future “Tip of the Week” posts (of course I’ll be sure to give her credit.)

I thoroughly enjoyed The Little Black Book of Style. It’s written in an engaging fast-paced conversational style. Mini-interviews with couture designers including Michael Kors and Christian Louboutin and, successful models such as Iman and Heidi Klum (who shares her tips about pregnancy dressing) are insightful and inspiring. The playful illustrations by Ruben Toledo help make this a lovely gift for any woman in need of a boost.

Best of all, thanks to the folks at HarperCollins Canada I have a brand-new copy to give away. Interested? Share your favorite style tip. Leave a comment with your style tip by 5 p.m EST, Thursday, September 27. Comments will be entered into a random draw and the winner will be announced on the blog Friday, September 28. (Note: anonymous comments will be disqualified.)

Technorati tags: Elle, HarperCollins, Nina Garcia, Project Runway, Ruben Toledo, The Little Black Book of Style

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch XI - Saturday, Sept. 30

You’re invited! Calling all local fashion bloggers:

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch (TFBB)

20 College St. (map)

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007
7 p.m.

Special shout-out to Danielle for her terrific poster (more about that later) and co-ordinating this event.

RSVP by logging on to

Technorati tags: blogging, Frans, nuit blanche, TFBB

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Weekly Wish - Lower prices on U.S. imports

I have one simple wish this week now that our dollar has achieved parity with that of our American neighbours. I’m wishing for retail prices to be the same on both sides of the border.

Sure I want to save money. Who doesn’t?

Even more so, I don’t want local retailers to lose out to cross-border shopping bargains. The big chains may be able to handle the pinch. The little indie boutiques may have a tough time. I’d hate to see them go.

What’s Next?
Will the strength of the Canadian dollar change your shopping habits? If so, how? Leave a comment.

Photo credit: The American Loonie by mattkiazyk on Flickr

Technorati tags: Canadian dollar, cross-border shopping, dollar, parity

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hard as nails and other strange stories

A funny thing happened last week while I was at Cozy Nails, my favourite Saturday morning hang-out. You see Cozy Nails is so customer-focused, they offer free gourmet coffees, teas and smoothies to all their clients. For those with a sweet tooth, they also have dishes and containers filled to the brim with all kinds of chocolates and other candies to enjoy while your nails are drying.

I was sitting minding my own business when all of the sudden a familiar neighbourhood teen and her younger sister appeared. I thought they were having a mother-daughter day. Wrong. Their mother was just behind them and she came into the shop. But instead of her usual outgoing self, she seemed a bit reserved and uncomfortable as she stood with her dog on a leash waiting for her girls. They stuffed their hands full of candy and the three of them walked out. What nerve!

Clients and staff alike were taken aback. Turns out the mom isn’t even a client. It’s not like Cozy Nails is the only place to get candy in the neighbourhood either: a variety store is up the street.

So this post is a bit different. Instead of me ranting incessantly about bad service, I’m ranting about bad customer behavior. As customers we all want excellent service. Relationships are a two-way street. We also owe it to the service providers to be respectful, courteous and not take advantage of their generosity.

I had another strange experience that day. I stopped into the Bagel House. My son wanted a pepperoni stick. I politely asked the cashier to cut the package open. She cut it and ran. Unfortunately, she didn't cut it enough to open the package. I politely asked her to try again. She threw a pair of scissors at me. Huh? I asked her if I had been rude (because I found her behaviour odd.)
“No, you have been polite. I’m just busy ’cause I have to clean up and I have a bunch of orders to fill for other customers.”
WTF? The store was empty. Speaks volumes, doesn't it?

Do you have any strange shopping stories to share? Leave a comment.

photo credit: marjanhols on Flickr

Technorati tags: Cozy Nails, Bagel House

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Anita Roddick, you’ll be missed

I can’t remember a time without The Body Shop. It was founded 31 years ago and although it became part of the L’Oreal Group last year, the successful beauty products chain continues to operate independently.

I definitely have my favorite Body Shop items such as the Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion. But the one thing that has always stood out in my mind is the legacy created by founder, Anita Roddick who died on Monday.

Dame Anita Roddick through The Body Shop has probably done more for corporate social responsibility and animal rights than anyone. At the very least, Ms. Roddick was a pioneer who made a difference.

What’s your favorite product from The Body Shop? How will you remember Anita Roddick? Leave a comment.

Technorati tag: Anita Roddick, corporate social responsibilty, CSR, L’Oreal, The Body Shop

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tip of the Week - PC products for less

If I didn’t know better, I’d assume all President’s Choice (PC) products were the same price no matter where you buy them. But I do no better and now you do too!

My neighbourhood is bookmarked by both No Frills and Loblaws grocery stores. No doubt Loblaws has a larger selection and better produce (in all fairness, it’s a much bigger store.) Both stores carry PC products but In my experience, the prices vary significantly. I’ve saved as much as $2.00 on package of frozen sole by buying it at my local No Frills.

Have you had a similar experience? Do you have any shopping tips to share? Leave a comment.

Technorati tags: Loblaws, No Frills, President’s Choice

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Weekly Wish - Marc by Marc Jacobs

Okay, so there’s lots to be gained by being a bargainista. There’s downside too. I can neither afford nor justify the expense of designer clothing. Most of the time I could care less because my body isn’t built for most of the current fashions anyway. A gal has to know what suits her, right? However, there are a few designers who I admire greatly and who’s clothes I’d love to wear, if only...

One of my favs is Marc Jacobs. I know most of his stuff won’t look great on me but there are some pieces from the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection I think would suit me just fine.

This week Holt Renfrew is trying to tempt me even more.

On Saturday, they are having a special event featuring the fall collections of Marc by Marc Jacobs and Hudson Jeans. There’s even a chance to win a $300 selection from the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection AND and a pair of Hudson Jeans. With every $250 purchase of Marc, you can get a free t-shirt and with every $500+ purchase, you can get a Holts gift card. I don’t know all the details, but if you go, ask a salesperson for details.

So this week, I’m wishing for at least one wonderful piece from the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection.

My life has been pretty hectic the past few weeks. I’d love to go and check out the scene at Holts but I doubt I’ll make it. If you do, please share your experience with the rest of us. Who is your favourite designer? What are you wishing for this fall? Leave a comment.

Technorati tags: designers, Holts, Hudson Jeans, Marc Jacobs

Friday, September 07, 2007

Tip of the Week - deals on Facebook

Lately I’ve been finding all kinds of deals on Facebook. And guess what, I’m barely even trying. Between groups, status updates and other news feed info. from friends, I’m getting all kinds of discount offers and other shopping news.

Here are some of the deals I’ve seen lately:
How to get 40% off Addidas merchandise
Special discounts and product offers from Cake beauty products
Sale news from secrets from your sister
Coupon and freebie applications from RedFlagDeals
An intro. offer from Chapters-Indigo for The Best Laid Plans: A Novel by Terry Fallis (24% off)

One catch, if you’re not already a member of Facebook, you’ll need to join first. And don’t forget to join the Bargainista group. ; )

Technorati tags: Addidas, Cake, Chapters-Indigo, Facebook, RedFlagDeals, secrets from your sister, Terry Fallis, The Best Laid Plans

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Weekly Wish - new iPod

Do you even have to ask? I’m speechless. This week I’m asking for a new iPod. Any of these will do, except perhaps for the yucky blue or green ones.

What about you? What do you think of the Apple’s new iPods?

Technorati tags: Apple, iPod, iPod classic, iPod nano, iPod touch

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Back-to-school wants vs. needs

Kathryn Lagden
gave me a heads-up about a Fox News interview with her boss, Tim Sullivan president and founder of PTO Today and Back2School2007. He discusses some of the most interesting gadgets your kids may want (vs. what they really need) when they return to school next week:

I thought I’d let you know where you can find deals on some of these items in case you haven’t spent enough dough on your little ones already and/or if you’re like me and one of them has an upcoming birthday.

FLY Fusion Pentop Computer - this cool new gadget can be found at many stores at regular price ($99). However, if you don’t need the latest and greatest, you can find the original FLY Pentop Computer for $29.99 at Mastermind provided you buy any two accessories at 40% off. The biggest difference between the original and Fusion versions is the latter connects with your PC. For those of us Mac users, it’s a non-issue ’cause it’s not Mac compatible. I say stick with the original, at clearance prices it’s a steal.

Note: FLY Pen and FLY Fusion Pen both require software in order to work. Software is specific to each version of the FLY.

If you’re wondering how I know so much about this awesome gizmo, we have a family birthday coming up and I thought it would make a great gift. So does my son. ; )

As for computers, memory sticks and cell phones, I agree with Tim, the basics are all your kids need - FutureShop is having a big sale this weekend. Check RedFlagDeals too.

We’ve been fans of ObusForme backpacks for years. If you have a membership at Camp Connection, you can get them for 20% off. They start around $33 reg. price.

For more discounts on school supplies, join TD CanadaTrust’s, The Money Lounge on Facebook and download the coupons.

Have you done your back-to-school shopping yet? What are your child’s wants vs. needs? Do you stick to the needs or indulge a bit. Share your back-to-school bargains and cool finds. Leave a comment.

Technorati tags: back to school, FLY pen, FutureShop, gadgets, Kathryn Lagden, Mastermind, PTO Today, school supplies, The Money Lounge, Tim Sullivan