Friday, February 29, 2008

Tip of the Week – Toolbar for Firefox

Attention all shoppers! has just released a new toolbar for Firefox.

I’ve tested this a bit and it’s pretty darn cool. I particularly like the tabs on the top right. Click on them and they’ll keep you informed about the latest deals.

You can use the search box to search right from your browser. You can search deals, coupons, forums, or a specific product with the shopping comparison feature. Type in what you’re looking for and a new tab opens up with the results.

Quick Links
Use the “Quick Links” drop down menu to easily access the major sections of

Coupon Notification
Browsing a retailer’s website? Want to know if there’s a coupon available? The toolbar is supposed to notify you so you can get the best deal. This is an excellent feature but it didn’t seem to work for me. Hopefully it will be resolved soon.

Private Messages
The toolbar let’s you know when you’ve received a private message from another member of the community. I don’t use this but it’s an awesome feature if you use the Marketplace.

Did you test it out? What did you think?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

NutriSystem week 3: Tamsin weighs in on the food

Tamsin - 1.5 pounds (4 pounds lost to-date)
Eden - 1.8 pounds (6.4 pounds lost to-date)

It’s Week 3 of our NutriSystem Challenge. I admit to a little frustration with my small loss. I am still struggling with getting in 8 glasses of water, although I do great some days. Good news: I cut back to ½ glass of wine with dinner on the occasional night.

As for the food, I definitely have my favourites. I really enjoy the lasagna. It’s not too cheesy, and I like the tofu in it. It’s a very filling meal when paired with a spinach salad.

For this post, I am reviewing some different dishes on the NutriSystem menu. These dishes weren't my first choices, but they provide options.

First up, thin crust pizza. The crust is a very small flatbread. The tomato sauce tastes like it came out of a little plastic pouch, which it does. You squirt the sauce on the bread, then you sprinkle cheese from a little package and pop it into the oven. Yes, the key words are “little” “tiny”, “small”. It’s barely appetizer size. Maybe I wouldn’t mind if it tasted great, but it doesn’t. I just did not find the pizza worth the effort of cooking in the oven.

Next, the vegetable fajita mix. It comes as a package of freeze-dried beans and powdered mix that you mix with water on the stove. It thickens into a moist goop that is best hidden in a tortilla. I added lettuce, tomatoes, and a little home-made salsa. Still, it wasn’t enough to make the mix palatable to me. Just not appetizing.

I was pleasantly surprised by the cheesy broccoli mashed potatoes. It starts out as powdered cheese and what I assume are potato flakes. Add some boiling water, stir, and you get some tasty and very filling mashed potatoes. I enjoyed it twice this week with a side of rapini and red peppers.

We ordered our food for Month #2, and I am very excited about trying dishes like: “Cheese and Spinach Ravioli with Meat Sauce” and “Lemon Butter Sauce with Chicken and Noodles”. Not to mention the “Blueberry Lemon Dessert Bar”. Sounds yum!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Weekly Wish – Nicole’s diamond necklace

Okay, so I’m a little freaky when it comes to diamonds. Yes, I know they are every girl’s best friend but only us girls with April birthdays can say diamonds are also their birthstone. Well, I’m one of those girls.

When it comes right down to it, I have pretty modest tastes and nowhere to wear all the incredible frocks and jewels bedazzling celebs at the Oscars – or anything remotely like them. ;) But that doesn’t mean I can’t drool over incredible diamond necklaces.

I barely watched this year’s Oscars but when Nicole Kidman walked across that stage, I couldn’t help but notice. She looked stunning in her lovely, long, black Balenciaga dress but it was that necklace that made my eyeballs pop out of my head. She wore a 1399-carat, rough and polished handmade diamond sautoir (with a mere 7,645 diamonds) designed by L’Wren Scott.

So, that’s it for my wish this week. I want one! A close knock-off will do.

Monday, February 25, 2008

After a Fashion meets PodCamp Toronto

You didn’t think I’d spend a whole weekend at PodCamp without sharing, did you?

If you’ve been following the adventures of After a Fashion, you’ll be pleased to know Jenny Bullough aka Chloe Barbosa and Paradise Wunderland (that’s me) gave a presentation: “Everything You Need To Know About Second Life”.

Of course we talked about shopping. ;) Jenny also shared her wonderful case study about eHarlequin’s book launches in Second Life. I’m leaving a copy of the slides here so you can have a look:

There were many fascinating sessions at PodCamp. Check out the media archive you can catch up on the latest in social media and podcasting. See, sometimes the best things in life are free! Thanks to all our sponsors.

Personal note: You may know I was on the PodCamp Toronto 2008 organizing team. I want to give a big shout out the other team members: Connie Crosby, Dave Fleet, Rob Lee, Katherine Matthews, Sean McGaughey, Jay Moonah, and Tommy Vallier. You’re amazing!

Kathleen Edwards is doing some good with an iPod

On March 4, Kathleen Edwards is releasing her next CD. Tomorrow, she’ll be donating the proceeds from the sale of an engraved iPod with her full catalogue on eBay to the Alica Ross memorial fund though Project Canoe.

Last I checked, there was a bid of $1,035.00! If you’re so inclined and have an extra $1,050 dollars or more lying around, you may want to get in on the action. It’s for a really good cause. A childhood friend of mine met a similar fate when we were about the same age as Alicia Ross. Tragic.

Junos weekend 2003, I shared an elevator with Kathleen Edwards at The Arc. At the time I barely knew who she was. I’m not that familiar with her music either but now I’m paying more attention.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Second time lucky with the NutriSystem challenge

Tamsin - 2.5 pounds
Eden - 2.6 pounds (4.6 pounds lost to-date)

Other than progress, the one thing that I’ve been asked by readers, family and co-workers since I started the NutriSystem Challenge is: “How’s the food?”

Well, I’m not sure whether I’m hungrier now that before but it’s not bad. In fact, some meals are pretty darn good. Others I could do without. So without further ado, here’s my mini-review...

Favourite: Nutrisystem Apple Granola Bar, 8oz. skim milk lactaid, 1/2 banana

Dreaded: None. I haven’t been adventurous enough to try the NutriSystem powdered scrambled eggs and I’m not sure I will.

Favourite: NutriSystem Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, Salad with mesculun greens, baby spinach, raw mushrooms, radish slices, sliced eggs, no-fat dressing

Dreaded: NutriSystem Pasta with Beef. I’m lucky because I was only sent a couple of cans. I like their dinner pasta but I didn’t like this one at all.

Favourite: NutriSystem Wedged Potatoes with Sliced Beef Steak - this meal was by far the best I’ve tasted; mixed greens with sprinkle of red pepper, two grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, sliced olives (fat serving); two portions of steamed broccoli.

Dreaded: I’m sorry but I wouldn’t serve the Chicken Breast Patty to my worst enemy. If I had to guess how cat food tastes this would come pretty close. I couldn’t eat it and had a couple of pieces of the beef from the stir-fry I made for my family that night. In all fairness, my 9-year-old asked to try the chicken and liked it a lot.

Favourite: NutriSystem Chocolatey chips dipped in light peanut butter (fat serving). Yum yum! I’d like to know how it compares to the caramel popcorn but I haven’t seen any yet. Maybe next month.

Dreaded: None. I’m not crazy about the savoury treats. The pretzels were airy and bland. I’ve always preferred something sweet after dinner. The NutriSystem dinners are high in sodium so I’m not craving salty foods either.

Truthfully, I’ve been quite satisfied on the program and rarely felt hungry, except I’d really like a Montreal bagel once a week. I’m not sure why the NutriSystem guide provides a list of bread servings when we can’t add them to our meal plan anyway.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My PinUp Lip Balm Prize

Canadian Beauty is always giving away free cosmetics and other beauty products.

I rarely enter contests ’cause I rarely ever win.

A few weeks ago I got lucky and won an 8-Ball Gift Tin from PinUp Lip Balm. It included all 8 luscious flavors:
Citrus Punch
Gimme Grape
Love That Lemonade!
Mocha Loca Chocolata
Peppermint Twist
Royal Raspberry
The Boys Love Coconut
Voluptuous Vanilla

PinUp Lip Balm is made with all natural products and is not tested on animals. My prize retails for $32 (plus shipping) or $4 for individual containers. Yummy!

Wondering why I’m telling you about this?
I received a lovely personalized, hand-written note from PinUp asking me to spread the word. Very cool. FYI, their website doesn’t work that well so I can’t tell you where to buy it other than their online store. Not so cool.

Canadian Beauty has another great giveaway this week. It’s for 2 Nair prize packs. Why don’t you try entering and see what happens. You might just get lucky! If so, let us know.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Keith Burtis’ social miracle will melt your heart

Keith Burtis is a professional wood turner and cabinetmaker with a big heart. He is an old-world craftsman who has embraced the new world technology by using twitter and his blog to create awareness for his wood-turning creations.

I “met” Keith on twitter. He lives in Snyder, NY. I’m looking forward to meeting him and his soon-to-be financée, Michelle, in person at PodCamp Toronto.

Keith was planning to make a final payment on his sweetheart Michelle’s engagement. He’s been planning on proposing to her on February 22 – the night before PodCamp Toronto. Unfortunately, he ran into some financial challenges. He’s not letting them get in the way.

On Valentine’s Day, Keith reached out to his twitter community asking for help. He asked his “friends” to consider purchasing one his bowls so he could earn $700 in a hurry for what he calls: “My Social Miracle”. Since then, Keith has been working practically round the clock and even customizing his creations. He’s adding each new item to his blog and keeping everyone up-to-date on his progress, including sales.

Everyone who has heard Keith’s story has been deeply touched. I’m betting he’ll surpass his goal – maybe even raise enough for a romantic dinner with Michelle at one of Toronto’s finest restaurants during their weekend getaway.

If this story touches you, consider buying one of his handmade bowls. Each one comes with it’s own photo documentary, two of his hand-turned exotic wood bottle stoppers and a $10 gift certificate for his future Etsy storefront. My sushi set is on order. ;)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tip of the Week – get connected with ooVoo

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down and meeting a bunch of new friends from across North America and chatting face-to-face without spending a dime. All I needed was my computer, a web cam and mic.

Within seconds we were all connected and having interesting conversations. In fact, I could meet with five other people at the same time. No long-distance fees either. I used ooVoo – a cool new video conferencing desktop software application I downloaded for free!

I’ve already started thinking about tons of interesting ways to use ooVoo professionally and personally. Like connecting with my family, friends and readers anywhere in the world – without any long-distance fees! We can even share photos and other files during our video or text chats.

So what’s the downside?
I can only think of 2 cons:
The technology is a bit buggy. I’m chalking it up to growing pains; and,
I need to put on my make-up and brush my hair before using ooVoo. ;)

How did I learn about ooVoo in the first place?
Susan Reynolds gave me a heads-up about a fabulous awareness campaign brining high-profile bloggers together with members of their communities called My ooVoo Day. In return for their participation, ooVoo contributed $1,500 to the Frozen Pea Fund (or another charity of the blogger’s choice).

Interested in attending My ooVoo Day?
There are still some sesssions, check the schedule.

My connections
“Every Dot Connects/Case Notes from the Artsy Asylum: From Connections to Community: How Online Relationships Enrich Our Lives,” hosted by Connie Reece and Susan Reynolds, was my first session. Connie founded the Frozen Pea Fund in Susan’s honour. I also had the pleasure of meeting Adele McAlear and Jon Swanson. It was wonderful wishing Susan a happy birthday - LIVE!
Josesph Jaffe (from the crayon – the company spearheading the My ooVoo Day event on behalf of their client) added two new sessions. I was fortunate to snag a spot and persuaded Connie Crosby to join me. Topic: “Besides getting to know you all, anything to do with Jaffe Juice, Life After the 30-Second Spot or Join the Conversation”. Other participants were Mitch Canter (you can catch the full recording here), Sherman Hu and Allen Mostow. It was incredible and the session lasted a whopping 35 minutes and I’m sure we’ll all connect here again.

So why am I telling you all this? I want to connect with you on ooVoo too. If you’re interested let me know and we can set something up after PodCamp Toronto.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wrapping up week 1 on NutriSystem

Tamsin - no change
Eden - about 2 pounds

This week Tamsin shares her experiences from week 1 of the NutriSystem Challenge...

Well, the NutriSystem Challenge has certainly turned my regular menu planning upside down. It’s been pretty handy having the portable entrees, but a bit of a challenge to plan interesting choices for the the salad, protein, and fat servings ahead of time. I have a pretty busy schedule, so it is taking me some practise and a little imagination.

The first week has been all about tracking meals and trying to remember to fill my water bottle at every opportunity. How did I do in week 1? Well, I must come clean with some diversions: a premenstrual plate of homemade nachos on Friday and celebratory Indian dinner buffet at Siddhartha on Gerrard (I tried to choose dishes responsibly and had only 1 plate). The NutriSystem booklet gives you tips on what to order or avoid at different types of restaurants, so I knew to back away slowly from the butter chicken. ;)

I have been eating a dinner entrée for lunch and a lunch entrée for dinner, mostly because it keeps the hunger pangs at bay and works better for my schedule. While I haven’t tried everything yet, I have enjoyed the lasagna dinner (for 2 lunches this week), so I recommend them as pretty filling. The breakfast and lunch bars are very good, though the flavours are limited. I wonder how yummy they’ll be in a month...

For handy protein, I purchased a box of vegetarian (non-chicken) chicken breasts from the Presidents Choice Blue Menu line -- 24g protein for each 1/2 “breast”. They taste OK when baked, though there is a slight, mild seasoning on them. All in all, a good alternative to cottage cheese (my main protein choice) and probably not bad shredded in a salad.

I am enjoying logging my meals, though it’s more effort on the weekend. It keeps me conscious of everything – my water intake, the times when I eat, etc. For example, I thought I ate more veggies than I do; now I know that I need to amp up the veggie-factor!

Physical exercise is, of course, critical to losing weight. My exercise mostly comes from my part-time job: Teaching pole dancing at Aradia Fitness Uptown. Since last Thursday, I have taught 6 classes – not too bad.

I weighed myself this morning, and there’s no change. I’m not surprised, but I’m not discouraged either. I feel more aware of the logistics of applying the “system” to my everyday life. I feel more prepared for the coming weeks.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Weekly Wish – Flipping out over Flip Video

Yes, I’m getting pretty excited about the Flip Video camera. It’s a compact digital video recorder that fits in the palm of your hand. Just plug it into your computer – there’s a built-in USB arm – download the video and upload it to your favorite video sharing site or send it to friends and family. Check out the specs.

So, what’s the big deal? Yes, I already have a digicam and it shoots video. Yes, that’s true but it doesn’t shoot 30- 60 minutes at a time. The Flip does. You can even connect it to your TV! Now that’s sweet and starting at $120, it’s a pretty good deal.

I don’t know about you but this is my new must-have accessory. So this week, you guessed it, I’m wishing for a Flip Video from the Ultra Series. The basic model doesn’t come in pink. ;)

Mitch Joel and David Usher used the Flip Video camera to produce this awesome Apple Macbook Air Sony Vaio Parody on YouTube. Watch it and let me know what you think:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Secrets From Your Sister on Dead Bra Day Sale

Dead Bra Day Sale
Bring in one or more washed, used bras to Secret From Your Sister and receive a professional fitting and a 20% discount off one regularly-priced bra.

Your old bra(s) will be donated to the Womens Own Detox Center Fund at the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation.

Learn more about Dead Bra Day and Sue Richards, the Canadian woman who started it all.

Wednesday, Feb. 13: 9 a.m.-9 p.m
(To ensure proper fittings for everyone, doors close at 8 p.m. sharp!)

Secrets From Your Sister
560 Bloor St. W. (map)
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 1X8
Phone: 416 538-1234

Sunday, February 10, 2008

OPI e-romance collection: even too geeky for me

Okay, two of my favourite things are manicures and hanging out online with my friends. But a mash-up of the two, that just seems silly to me. Have you seen OPI’s e-romance collection? Did you know it’s wired for love? There’s even OPI e-romance e-cards. Why?

Maybe OPI’s marketing team thought they’d get more coverage from the bloggers. Maybe they were right. Doesn’t mean I’m buying. What about you?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Tip of the Week - Monthly Boxers

Still looking for a Valentine’s gift for that practical man in your life who doesn’t like shopping for essentials like undies and socks? Have no fear, you can order him a supply for an entire year!

Monthly Boxers and Monthly Socks, two websites run by one Vancouver-based company, selling Canadian-made men’s boxers and socks by online subscription. There are limited choices, styles and colours are kept simple.

The idea is you can subscribe and receive one free pair of boxers (or socks) every month. Of course for those of you who want to have a looksee before committing to a 12-month supply, can choose their trial pack or another plan. No more grungy undies for your man.

And that’s not all. If you’re already a subscriber and you refer a friend to Monthly Boxers, you’ll get free underwear! As a thank you, they’ll send you either a free pair of boxers or a women’s tank top.

What a smart idea. These are some pretty smart guys who are making it surprisingly simple for other smart guys (or their gals) to shop for the things they need. I think Seth Godin would approve.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Weekly Wish – Pretty in Pink

Okay, so truth be told, I have no business buying new clothes right now. I just started a 12-week weight-loss plan. Besides, I haven’t been terribly inspired by affordable fashion over the past six months or so.

All that’s changed. I have a new motivation and a new outlook. I also have a bunch of family and business functions this spring and I’ll need some new clothes.

Club Monaco’s spring line has given me some hope. I think their current collection is incredible. The colours caught my attention – they’re my favourite – raspberry, black, grey and white. I fell in love with the raspberry “Celine” dress – perfect for an evening out. Everything seems to mix and match too. It’s crisp, it’s fresh, it’s me. Well almost.

Right now I don’t like how anything looks on me. So this week, I’m wishing I’ll lose enough weight on time to fit into their smaller sizes and more tailored looks. And if this collection is any indication of the things to come, I’m feeling pretty inspired. ; )

Which spring collections inspire you?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Day 1 of the NutriSystem Challenge

Okay, so the delivery was a bit messed up but Tamsin and I are on track now. We started the program today. I’m on a 3-day training course for work so my routine is out of whack. We tossed around the idea of delaying our start and decided if we did that, we’d always be able to find an excuse. Here goes nothing...

Initial observations:
Nutrisystem’s website needs to answer more of my questions without requiring me to log in first. I didn’t know how much of my own food I’d be combining with NutriSystem products. Tamsin and I had a lot of questions but we needed to wait for our kits to get answers. Fortunately, I had enough fruit and veggies in the house to get started.

A lot of reading is required and we’re supposed to watch a motivational exercise DVD. As for me, I read what I needed to know to get going. I did a fair amount of walking– not bad considering the storm we had in Toronto today.

NutriSystem food comes in colour-coded packages and are easy to sort into meal categories.

The breakfast and lunch meals are portable.

NutriSystem assumes everyone who needs to lose weight has a sweet tooth. There’s a ton of breakfast pastries, breakfast and lunch bars a plus a daily dessert.

The program includes a daily diary. The concept is similar to Weight Watchers but instead of itemizing everything you eat and their point values, you check off items divided into 5 meal categories. Here’s what I ate today:

I didn’t have time to eat breakfast at home. I drank a glass of skim milk lactaid, and grabbed a banana (should have only eaten half) and a NutriSystem Cranberry Orange Pastry (yuck, this sounds much better than it looks or tastes).

NutriSystem Chocolaty Raspberry Flavoured Bar (tasted better than your average energy bar), steamed veggies with tofu, shrimp, green beans and green tea.

As much as I wanted to follow the rules, I had to break them the very first day because of my change in routine. I figured it was better to follow as much as I could rather than not starting at all. I skipped the lunch salad and ate my dinner veggies at lunchtime instead. I ended up at a Chinese restaurant so I ordered them steamed. I realized I needed some protein so I had a taste of steamed tofu and about 2 oz. of small shrimp (the sauce was probably a no-no) and some stir-fried green beans with fresh garlic and ginger. I counted this as my fat serving for the day (probably at least a bit more than a teaspoon of oil – oh well!)

Afternoon Snack
½ c unsweetened applesauce.

NutriSystem Beef and Mushrooms with Pasta (comparable to Lean Cuisine, bigger portion than I expected), salad with low-calorie dressing, 1/3 c edamame (leftover from snacktime).

NutriSystem White Chocolate Flavoured Chunk Cookie (hard and dry but edible).

I had 2 decaf coffees with a splash of 2% milk. (I shouldn’t be drinking milk at all since I’m lactose intolerant, and the program favours skim milk.) I’m still working my way through the 8 glasses of water. I’m used to snacking at night so I guess I’ll fill up with water instead.

Stay tuned for next week’s check-up when Tamsin and I will tell you what happened when we stepped on our scales.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It’s not another meme; it’s an interview with Bargainista

When I first noticed Hope Robertson had tagged me in a meme, my first reaction was “Oh no! not another one”. I just did one a month ago. But this time it’s different. This one is more of an interview about the blog itself than information about me.

I’ve been asked these questions a lot lately so I thought it would make sense to participate. And for those of you unfamiliar with Hope’s blog, take a look. She’s a former ballerina with exquisite taste and a wonderful fashion sense.

1. What is the story behind the name of your blog?
I decided to launch a shopping blog but I didn’t have a name. Around the time, there was a whole lot of hoopla about customer service and Starbucks in the blogosphere. A Starbucks employee is called a Barista. Bargainista immediately came to mind, so I did a Google search and Bargainista it was!

2. Why did you start blogging in the first place?
I’d been lurking around social media circles for a while and was tired of being on the outside. I wanted to get hands-on blogging experience and learn more about the culture. Although my background is communications, marketing and web production, I wanted to do something different and something I could be passionate about. A light bulb went off in my head and Bargainista was born.

3. What is your best blogging experience? Your worst?
Best: The people I’ve met and the support I’ve received from readers as a result of blogging. I also enjoy when companies and authors participate in discussions.

The biggest surprise: Being mentioned in the same breath as Mitch Joel and Seth Godin by Mario Parisé on Happy Pixels.

Worst: Dealing with another blogger who is using my brand and is dismissive of trademark and copyright laws.

4. What do you think will happen to your blog in 2008?
I try not to think to hard and let it all happen organically. Good things come to those who wait. ; )

Now I want to hear from you: Mario Parisé, A.C. Riley, Henna Singh and Chris Thompson

Monday, February 04, 2008

Tamsin gets her NutriSystem meals

Last week, Purolator delivered a 35lb box of portion-controlled goodies to my door. Well, I wasn’t home, but I did get a notice to go pick it up at the depot. Lucky for me, Purolator Courier is a 5 minute drive from my home, so I had my package by 8 p.m.

I needed to confirm that there was enough food, and it certainly looked like it. It took a while to sift through the box. I piled the colour coded packages on my dining room table to see what's in store. In my final count, the numbers didn’t support 28 days of 3 meals and 2 snacks/desserts.

Here’s what the box contained:
19 breakfasts – not enough
28 snacks/desserts – not enough for 2 per day. Also, many of the biscotti packages seemed crushed.
28 lunches – Yep, this is correct.
36 dinners – a few too many. That’s OK, more choice!

Also, no information kit – the key to understanding the “system” in NutriSystem. I contacted our rep who promised to rush out “some remaining breakfast items to fill out the 28 days, some new biscotti, and the information kit with the DVD.”

Also, she explained that we “should only have one snack/dessert per day (all explained in the information kit)”. I was confused, since I read on the NutriSystem website that “You get to eat 5 times a day to help reduce those cravings between meals!”. I assumed that #5 was a second NutriSystem snack. (I’ve since discovered that you DO get to have a second snack, but it is not supplied by NutriSystem. They do advise you on what to choose, though – a piece of fruit, for example.)

On Saturday, the supplementary box arrived – did it ever! Another big box of food. Yes, the information kit was there with the exercise DVD. And the breakfasts and the biscottis. Plus lots and lots more lunches and dinners and very yummy-sounding snacks, including chocolate bars – woo hoo! NutriSystem overload!

I spent some time reading the nutritional information. It’s pretty clear that jacking up PROTEIN intake is a key part of NutriSystem. Every single meal or snack that I looked at 10-25mg of protein and little fat. You just do not find that in everyday food – unless you sprinkle protein powder on everything you eat. I’m encouraged: protein is good for us, keeps us feeling full, and gives us energy.

Yeah, but how does the food taste? I'm curious too! We’ll let you know when we finally get started. Meanwhile, Eden STILL awaits her first delivery of NutriSystem meals.

Talk about portion control!

[Bargainista: I received my first food package today (the DVD should arrive any day) and will give a full report on Day 1 – Stay tuned!]

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Give a green gift this Valentine's Day

Dandelion Mud Pie, a new environmentally friendly neighbourhood store, has designed a collection of six Valentine gift baskets inspired by the “spirit, creativity and works” of four authors and four Canadian eco-heros. Each “green” basket is filled with Canadian-crafted products that are natural, organic, easily biodegradable and comes with it’s own handmade gift card.

Here’s the description of the “Love Struck Eco Goddess” basket (photo) inspired by Elizabeth Barret Browning and Adria Vasil:
Products include a Mountain Sky pure beeswax heart candle, Two Herbal Mamas lip balm, Soap Stone dead sea salts, a silk herbal eye pillow, a bar of Zazubean Nakid organic chocolate and more.

This basket comes with a handcrafted gift card with the following message on the one side and blank on the other for your own words:
“I love thee to the depth and breadth and height/My soul can reach - I love thee with the breath/ Smiles, tears, of all my life!”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Valentine gift baskets are range in price from $55-$65 and are available in-store or online until February 14.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Tip of the week – check out

Today the Globe and Mail gave blogger Nancy Zimmerman a big shout-out in an article for do-it-yourself investors. Described as a “Gifted Amature” her tips are aimed at helping middle-class Canadians take charge of their money.

At the end of last year, Nancy and I discovered each other online. I blog about deals. She blogs about living well on a middle-class income. I guess you could say we complement each other quite well. There’s one big difference. As a self-described “money coach” I suspect she’s much better at managing her money.