Thursday, November 29, 2007

Weekly Wish - TiVo...

TiVo is finally coming to Canada. I want one! ’Nuff said.

Am I still living in the dark ages or what? Do you have a PVR? Can you imagine life without it?

Tags: digital video recorder, TiVo, PVR

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What do you think of the new masthead?

I’ve been playing around a bit tonight and designed a new masthead for the blog. I wanted to make a bit more of a statement. What do you think? Be honest.

Over the next little while, I may make other changes depending on how creative I’m feeling. I’d love to know what you think. So speak up, don’t be shy!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tip of the Week - Razzle!

A.C. Riley gets all the credit for this week’s shopping tip: Razzle!. It’s a new online shopping site. The tag line says it all: “One Deal a Day, One Chance”.

Bottom line: every day Razzle! will be offering one item at a rock-botton price. There’s even have an RSS feed so you don’t have to check the site every day to see the Razzle of the day.

You don’t have to wait until checkout time to find the shipping cost either, it’s right up front underneath the price of the daily deal.

Today’s deal is a pair of Sennheiser RS116 headphones for $44.90. When I did an online search, I found them on other sites starting from $128 and up.

That’s all. Pretty simple. What do you think?

Tags: A.C. Riley,, razzle, Sennheiser

Thursday, November 22, 2007’s special offer for Bargainista readers

Recently, was singled out in a The Toronto Star article for making the process of shopping for window coverings as painless and inexpensive as possible.

My curiosity was piqued. I wanted to learn more about shopping for window coverings online. I invited Robert Mendelson, EVP of for an interview. As a special treat, he’s also offering Bargainista readers 30% off until December 3, just use this unique promo code “BARGAIN” when you go to the checkout.

Note: Robert and I met through AIMS several years ago.

B: What made you decide to sell window coverings online?

RM: As someone who has shopped for window coverings myself, I found that it was a hassle to go from store to store looking first for the style and colour I liked, and then for the best deal. Shopping online, I can compare prices without leaving my house and wasting time sitting in traffic or waiting for sales people to serve me in stores.

I found typical bricks and mortar blinds store didn’t always have the best selection. I ended up having to get some blinds from one store and then higher-end or specialty items from another.

Online, we can offer just about everything under the sun. We’re not limited by store size. We can offer as many different products as possible without increasing our costs, allowing us to offer the lowest prices. Since everyone has windows, we figured it was a natural to sell window coverings online.

B: What else sets apart from the competition?

RM: Price. Because we have no physical store, our low overhead allows us to offer the most competitive prices. We’re able to guarantee the lowest price. If customers find a lower price from any other Canadian retailer within 90 days of purchase, we will beat it! We also offer free shipping to just about anywhere in Canada!

Convenience. You can comparison shop 24/7. We offer free samples so you can touch the material and see the colours before making a purchase.

Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back. We are fanatical about customer satisfaction. We don’t rest until every customer is 100% satisfied. We offer personalized service by phone, e-mail and live chat; and a lifetime warranty on everything we sell!

We’re Canadian. We offer Canadians the comfort of shopping on this side of the border. For example, if you need to return your blinds or a repair, you don’t have to worry about dealing with extra taxes or customs and brokerage charges.

B: How would I buy window coverings online? I want to see samples, need exact measurements and am concerned about installation. How can you help me overcome these concerns?

RM: Many of our customers can’t believe how easy it is to measure and install our products. The samples part is easy—we send those to you for free! Measuring is also easy—we have detailed, easy-to-follow illustrated instructions on the site. And the same goes for installation—easy to follow instructions online and available for you anytime.

We often say, if you can hang a picture on the wall, you can put up a blind. And if you’ve ever assembled furniture from that Swedish big box store, then putting up our blinds will be a cinch!

B: What’s the most interesting order you’ve ever received?

RM: We’ve outfitted an RV and sold 40 sets of blinds to a B&B in the Maritimes. Oh, and then there’s the school up in Nunavut with a few dozen of our mini-blinds!

Do you have a question for Robert? Would you like to see more interviews or exclusive promos here? Leave a comment.

Tags: blinds, Robert Mendelson,, Toronto Star, window coverings

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Weekly Wish - a new digital camera

I’ve been wanting a new digital camera for a while. In my house we share a Canon PowerShotA550. It’s fine and easy to use. My only beef is that it’s heavy and doesn’t fit easily into my purse. I’d like a smaller and lighter camera to carry with me wherever I go so I can take pictures more often.

I’d been giving serious thought to the Casio Exilim Zoom then last week I learned about the new Fuji FinePixZ10. It comes in several smashing colours, including hot pink. I thought they made it just for me. ; ) What I like best is it’s blogging feature - it let’s you upload photos directly to your blog. Just think, I could take pictures while I’m shopping and share them with you almost instantly. How awesome is that? It also has IrSimple wireless technology so I could share photos with other friends who have IrSimple-enabled cameras.

I’m guessing some of the photo bloggers were sent samples of this camera back in July when the Z10 was launched. Only thing is, the photo bloggers probably use much more sophisticated cameras, not the simple point-and-shoot styles. If I worked for Fuji’s marketing department, I’d follow the lead of the KRZRBloggers and put it in the hands of some influential bloggers from several different communities.

This week, I’m wishing Fuji (or a competitor with an equally compelling camera for us bloggers) will step up to the plate and offer me a compact, sleek digicam I can use for the blog. And if so, in return, they can be sure I’ll give their camera credit every time I post a pic.

Tags: camera, Casio Exilim Zoom, digital camera, Fuji, FinePixZ10, photoblogging

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Body Shop rocks at Rockland

I just returned from a weekend in Montréal. Fortunately, I had lovely visit with family.

I didn’t have much time to shop but we did take the boys for a quick trip to Rockland. After a bite at Eggspectation, we did a bit of shopping and my son found some VANS for $30 off.

What impressed me most was the display of products from The Body Shop at the mall’s information desk.

While people were waiting in line for assistance, they could check out a few samples from The Body Shop. Rockland and The Body Shop were offering an interesting promotion. Customers purchasing $100 or more in mall gift certificates were given a free gift pack from The Body Shop ($50 value). What a smart partnership, I wonder why other malls haven’t thought of doing something similar? I’ll bet some smart shoppers were buying gift certificates just to get the free gift. What do you think?

Tags: The Body Shop, gift certificates, Montréal, Rockland

Sunday, November 18, 2007

TFBB XIII - Nov. 25

You’re invited! Calling all local fashion bloggers:

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch (TFBB)

461 King St. W. (map)

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

The TFBB gang and friends.

RSVP by logging on to

Special thanks to Danielle great illustration and poster, Anita for setting up the RSVPs on eventbrite and Henna for booking Brassaii. Unfortunately, I probably won’t make it to this one but can’t wait to read about it on the ’net afterwards.

Tags: Brassaii, blogging, fashion, social media, TFBB,

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tip of the Week - Stocking up for charitable giving

This year, my son’s daycare is having a gift drive for the Children’s Aid Society. Parents have been asked to donate items for care packages that will be given to children and teens of families in need. Requested items include: toiletries, personal hygiene items, winter accessories, stationary items and small toys.

Over the holiday season, many people will be donating useful items to those in need. It’s helpful to find these types of things at the lowest possible prices so you can purchase more of them and in turn, help more children, teens and adults in our community.

Did you know there are places where you can buy basic necessities for prices lower than what you often find at big box stores? For instance, weekends now through December 23, The Bargains Group is having their annual warehouse sale where a little will go a very long way. And, if you have a generous budget and/or are shopping on behalf of a group, you can buy things by the case and save even more.

You may also want to take a look through your cupboards and see if you have some hair products, nice soaps or body lotions you haven’t used. If you’re like me, you’ve probably accumulated a bunch of freebies though cosmetic promos or swag bags.

Tags: Children’s Aid Society, holiday giving, The Bargains Group, warehouse sales

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Weekly Wish - bangles and more pics from Holts

Two brochures arrived on my doorstep this week. Both filled with beautiful photographs of luxurious jewelry. What great escapism. As I flipped through each of them looking at the shiny and sparkling designs and soaring price tags, I fantasized about which ones I wanted. For five minutes, I could pretend I was a member of the rich and famous... price was no object.

And now, back to reality...
Okay, so even a bargainista is allowed to be out of the loop on occasion. Since when did Holts get into the luxury jewelry business? I hadn’t noticed they started carrying the real thing and not just the upscale costume stuff.

I wanted to share links with you from their website ’cause this week, I’m wishing for either any of the stunning diamond and Celtic noir cable bangles from Charriol or the Judith Ripka sterling silver ($1,550-$2,750) and 18-karat-gold chandelier earrings with diamonds and canary crystals ($1,095), both Holts exclusives. (Not only are diamonds a girl’s best friend, they’re also my birthstone!) Unfortunately, they aren’t on the website - you can only see them in stores. So, instead I’ve shared the only bangles pic I could find, the gold, onyx and diamond bangles ($630-$8,095). They are lovely just not what I’m really wishing for this week.

And if you think I’m wishing for just for the jewels, you’re only partly right. This week I’m also wishing stores would realize their websites were just as important as their bricks and mortar stores. Holts already spent a fortune on photos, ad copy and printing costs for the fancy brochure. Why couldn’t they leverage the photos and text by adding them to their website too?

What do you think? When you visit a store’s website, do you want to find an online catologue or are you satisfied with just a hint or a tease of their offerings?

Tags: diamonds, Holt Renfrew, Holts, Tiffany,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Now you can rate my posts

You may have noticed a funny looking icon at the bottom of each post. I've added a widget called ClickComments. It's a simple rating tool you can click on to tell me if you like my post or not. If you're in a hurry you can share your opinion without having to leave a comment - although I always prefer comments. ; ) I'm trying it out. Let me know what you think. Rate this post or leave a comment.

Thanks geekgirl for the tip.

Tag: ratings, ClickComments, comments, PostReach

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Bargains Group warehouse sale

The Bargains Group Friends and Family Warehouse Sale - Don’t miss this annual blowout! It’s a good old-fashioned warehouse sale with savings up to 80% off retail prices.

Bring the coupon above and you’ll save an additional $5 off purchases over $50 (excluding tax) and get free pair of gloves!

The Bargains Group is only open to the public once a year. Need to stock up on basics? Buying items to donate to charities over the holidays? If you’re a true bargain hunter, this is one sale you won’t want to miss!

Highlights include...

European brand name scarves (reg. $35-$90) - 2 for $10
Hats, toques, mitts, gloves scarves - any combo - 2 for $10
Brand-name ladies polar gloves - 3 for $10
Underwear - 5 for $10
Flannel PJs - 2 pairs for $20.00!

Disney 2-piece outfits - 2 for $25
“Hot Paws” ski gloves, mitts, toques, scarves, headbands and neck warmers - 2 for $10.00
Brand-name toys (Spiderman, Disney, etc.) and stocking stuffers from $1!

Flannel lounge pants for the entire family - 2 for $15.00!
Kombi long underwear (reg. $30-35 reg. ) - 2 for $20
Great socks - 5 pairs for $10
Famous T-shirts - 3 for $10
Plush bath towels - 3 for $15
Polar fleece blankets - 2 for $15

Weekends starting Nov. 16 thru Dec. 23
Fridays: 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sundays: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Bargains Group (see map)
890 Caledonia Rd.
Toronto, ON
(south of Lawrence, betw. Keele and Dufferin)

If you go, leave a comment and let us know what you find.

Note: The owner is a friend of mine but I wouldn’t be sharing info. about this sale if I didn’t think it was awesome.

Tags: The Bargains Group, great deals, stocking stuffers, warehouse sales

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Exposed at Abercrombie & Fitch

Okay, so the clothing is cool but if there’s one chain store I avoid it’s Abercrombie & Fitch. Maybe I’m getting old but I just find it too loud and dark. I can never see anything and don't want to buy any clothes I can’t even see in the store.

I took a quick cruise through the mall this afternoon and as we were about to pass by A&F, I told my husband how I hated shopping there because it was so dark and the music was too loud.

But this time was different. As I was passing by, something, or should I say someone, caught my eye. An incredibly cute guy was hanging out in the store entrance. At closer range, I noticed he wasn’t just any guy but a hunky model wearing a down-filled jacket and no shirt. Just jeans, the jacket and his washboard chest.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type of person who takes pleasure in objectifying men. But A&F obviously does. They wanted me to picture my man in that jacket looking just like the exposed hunky model who was there for the looking whether you were entering the store or just passing by. I have to admit, he looked darn good in that jacket but it still didn’t work for me. Would it have worked for you?

Tags: Abercrombie & Fitch, hunks, models

Friday, November 09, 2007

Tip of the Week- FlyerMall

Are you tired of all those grocery store flyers piling up on your kitchen table every Friday and Saturday? I am.

From now on, I’m visiting and intead of putting up with clutter every weekend, I’m throwing those flyers into the recycling bin and maybe even postins a “No Flyers Please” note on my door. What about you?

Tags: FlyerMall, grocery flyers

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Get down with Narnia and save

• 20% off on all down coats and vests
• top off your down purchase with a complimentary hot drink from Starbucks

Sat., Nov. 10: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 11: 12 noon-5 p.m.

3236 Yonge St. (see map)
Toronto, ON. M4N 2L4
(416) 487-7287

Let is know what you get if you go.

Tags: down coats, Narnia, Starbucks

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Weekly Wish - jacket from Rudsak

Most billboard advertising has become a blur for me lately but not the new one on Mount Pleasant north of Bloor with stunning power couple Chantal Kreviasuk and Raine Maida. They’re all decked out in Rudsak. Rudsak, a Montreal-based firm, has been around since 1994 but only hit my radar recently.

Last Friday night, Jenny and I took a quick detour from our shop crawling and checked out Rudsak’s Queen St. W. location. The luscious red buttery leather bag in the window was calling my name. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it inside the store so I have no idea of the price but I’m guessing it’s around $250 or so.

The bag wasn’t the only thing in the store calling my name. There were some stunning jackets and anyone who knows me, knows I’m severely lacking in the fall outerwear department. Although I didn’t dare to try it on, I was salivating over a brown wool jacket with leather trim. It’s about $400.

Unfortunately, Rudsak’s website puts all emphasis on fashion instead of function so I have no idea how much the jacket really costs - I’m just going by memory. Regardless, it was a little pricey for the Barganista’s wallet that night. But that’s not stopping me now. So this week, you guessed it, I’m wishing for a new fall jacket or car coat. The smart Rudsak jacket pictured above, or anything dressier than down-filled will do.

Tags: Chantal Kreviasuk, Raine Maida, Rudsak

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Shopping party at dish sounds delish

Holiday Shopping Party at dish cooking studio

Sunday, Nov. 11
12 noon-4 p.m.

390 Dupont St. (See map)

Let is know what you get if you go.

Tags: cooking lessons, dish cooking studio, Trish Magwood

Sunday, November 04, 2007

ChickAdvisor Shop Crawl: real life social shopping

So far, my tales of social shopping have been limited to After a Fashion outings in Second Life. Thanks to The ChickAdvisor Shop Crawl, I was recently initiated into real life social shopping.

Jenny and I started right at 6 p.m. sharp. First stop, CHANGE, the Scandinavian lingerie chain’s first Canadian location. With CBC’s new Fortune Hunters cameraman following us around for an upcoming episode, it was a bit awkward shopping for undies.

Carole, the assistant manager did her best to put us at ease. In fact, this was the only location where customer service was queen (pardon the pun). We also got $25 gift certificates valid through January. Of course, we both used ours that night. It was the only time I parted with my money. CHANGE is one store I’ll visit again. ; )

I was pumped about C-Squared where we were offered a 20% discount. Jenny scored a sweet pair of chocolate brown Camper pumps.

We made it to the other the other stores on the crawl list as well: Scarpino, Kazuo (reasonable prices, I tried a great coat but it was too big), Fraiche (I’ll be back) and Fashion Crimes. All of them offered 20%-25% off for shop crawlers.

I was disappointed we saved Fashion Crimes for last. The staff refused to stay open past 8 p.m. (the crawl went on until 9) so I didn’t get past their enticing windows. Sucks, huh? Boy, did they pass up an opportunity for new business and leave a bitter taste in many shoppers’ mouths. How unfortunate. Jen and I were hoping to do some shopping there along with my TFBB friends.

The evening ended with a trip to Milestones for bellinis and yummy pizza fresh out of the oven, swag bags (I’ll be discussing mine in an upcoming post), prize draws and a fashion show put on by shoppers wanting to win their outfits.

Social shopping is a phenomenon that’s gaining steam. Groups of people shop together in order to get better prices. As for retailers, it’s a great way to garner publicity for your business, introduce new customers to your store and compete in a competitive marketplace where consumers are becoming more cost-conscious everyday.

Tags: After a Fashion, Ali de Bold, Camper, CHANGE, ChickAdvisor, Fashion Crimes, Fortune Hunters, Fraiche, Kazuo, Milestones, Queen Street, Scarpino, Shop Crawl, TFBB