Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Trip to The Clothing Show

Sumaya makes her Bargainista guest post debut sharing her experience The Clothing Show. Thanks to the organizers, she was able to attend for free and we were able to giveaway three pairs of passes to some of you as well.

Twice a year, I make sure to save up for a girls’ night shopping spree at The Clothing Show because I am always sure to get great discounts on clothing, jewelry and shoes.

Whether you you’re looking for the perfect vintage scarf or the funky-style leopard print clutch, this place really has it all and this past weekend wasn’t any different. I called my girlfriend up on Friday and we headed to the Better Living Centre in Toronto. When we arrived, we got a great tote bag (note: works well for doing groceries) along with some samples at the front desk and off we went!

This year, over 300 independent designers showcased their own designs. Out of the 300, our favourites included Kibo Natural Body Care, Outlaw by Design, and dara dot designs.

At Kibo, I was introduced by countless of natural soap and body products made by Kim Boland from Aurora, Ontario. I’ve always adored her soaps which is one of the reasons why I go back to the Show. Another vendor I admired was Outlaw by Design, an indie leather company from Toronto that sells authentic leather for an affordable price. I am still drooling over the neon orange belt I bought for only $15! Lastly, dara dot designs caught my eye some number of years ago when I accidently stumbled upon her etsy page. Ever since then, I’ve always been a big fan of her jewelry designs. It also helps if you’re one of the sweetest girls in town ;P

The best part of the night was the fashion show which highlighted some one of the local designers who were selling their clothes at the show. What better way to start the weekend than to see great local designs?! I can’t wait to attend next year’s show!

Have you been to The Clothing Show? If so, what did you enjoy most?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Adrian’s needs a lesson in customer service

So, my younger son had been wearing his new running shoes when one of the elastic laces snapped…

(Let me preface this rant by saying he had last spring’s version of the same slip-on running shoe – he wore them into the ground – and never had a problem with the laces. They’re an interesting alternative to Velcro and are more socially acceptable for older kids.)

On the weekend, I went to the Adrian’s where we bought his shoes. It’s a rare breed, one of the few stores carrying children’s footwear that actually still fits children properly. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to put up with their attitude (something we’ver] experienced several times.)

I asked them if they knew how I could fix the shoes. The immediate reaction of the first woman I spoke with was to tell me she’d she if they had another pair in his size but she thought they were sold out.

Me: Waaaaiiitt a minute! It’s just a lace, the rest of the shoe is totally fine. I was asking to see if something could be done to fix them and if you’ve ever had this problem before.”

Her: “You can remove the elastic and replace it with a regular shoelace.”

Me: “Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the shoes?”

The owner was in the store so I proceeded to ask her. I surely didn’t think this was the only pair where the elastic lace broke. She basically told me the same thing.

First woman: “As kids get older, they’re harder on their shoes.”

Me: “He wore his first pair until they didn’t fit, they held up fine. He’s only a four months older now.”

Owner: “It’s just like a seam splitting on a dress. There’s nothing we can do.”

Gee thanks for nothing. I’ve only purchased how many pairs of shoes and boots from you over the years?

Still standing at the cash, with no other customers in the store and the only three staff people standing behind the counter, I called my husband who was on his way to the shoemaker. I asked him to take our son’s shoe with him and see if anything could be done.

As I turned to them and asked if they’d like me to share the outcome because it may be helpful to other customers. The store phone was also ringing.

The owner replied with an apathetic “Sure” as she proceeded to answer the phone.

It was obvious the person on the other end wasn’t a customer and was asking why it had taken her so long to answer. I can’t recall the exact wording but in a somewhat snarky tone she replied she had be speaking with a customer who had taken up a lot of her time.

Hello, excuse me? I was within earshot. What the heck was that? Well, I think you’ve just lost me as a customer for good.

But there’s more to this than me being upset with the store and deciding not to give them my business. The experience doesn’t bode well for New Balance either. They manufacture the shoes – New Balance 630 – which coincidentally were selected by Good Housekeeping as the Runaway Winner for Best Kids Sneakers. New Balance probably wants stores to let them know when customers have problems with their merchandise. Maybe they have a solution.

Perhaps the retailer doesn’t care if she has my business. She knows she corners the market when it comes to properly fitting children’s shoes and black oxfords for private school uniforms. And let’s face it, I can blog and rant online all I want. She probably won’t have a clue and she may lose another customer or two. Big deal. But what she doesn’t know is whether or not New Balance is listening online. She also has no idea what type of relationships her customers have with her suppliers either. For all she knows, I could be related to a senior exec.

As I was ranting about this on Twitter last Saturday, several people started sharing some of their recent experiences with poor customer service, including @kimberly_lyn who was called “Dude” by an annoying salesperson.

Please leave a comment and share some of your recent frustrating customer service experiences - you’ll feel better, promise. (If you’re going to use a company’s name, please be remember to be respectful and fair. )
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Interview with Sumaya Khan – the newest edition to Bargainista’s team

Sumaya Khan recently joined team Bargainista as an editorial assistant/intern. Self-described as an “Upbeat and fun chick looking forward to a great career in public relations and marketing,” currently interning at Matchstick, I thought you might like to get to know her a bit better. I know I did.

Why have you decided to accept the challenge of Bargainista intern?
As someone who’s interested in social media, this is a great opportunity to gain exposure to various aspects in the industry. Interning at Bargainista will definitely help me gain the experience I need to pursure my career in the future.

How long have you been reading Bargainista?
I’ve been reading it for almost two years.

What was your favourite post?
I’ve enjoyed reading Eden’s weight loss journey with Nutrisystem. It’s great to see results just by healthy exercise and eating right.

If you could change anything about Bargainista, what would it be and why?
As more information is flowing in, I hope to see some changes in the layout.

What do you want other members of Bargainista’s community to know about you?
Now that I will be actively helping with the blog, feel free to say hi or ask me any questions! I’m just one e-mail/tweet/facebook away!

You can reach Sumaya at bargainista at gmail dot com.
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Friday, September 25, 2009

J.K. Rowling’s Innovation Inspired an Entire Generation (and their Parents)

One of the cool things I did while I was in Chicago earlier this month, was visit Harry Potter: The Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry. Almost the entire time I was there, I couldn’t help but think of the displays of innovation all around me, particularly while taking in the Harry Potter exhibit.

So, I wrote a post for FH Innovation’s blog. Why don’t you check it out and let me know what you think: J.K. Rowling’s Innovation Inspired an Entire Generation (and their Parents)

I’d love to know who inspired you this summer and why.

And by the way, before you travel with your family, check your existing museum, gallery and science centre memberships - you’ll probably find they’re also a treasure trove of discount or free admission passes at other places around the world.

(Full disclosure, Fleishman Hillard is the parent company of iStudio, my employer. I’m a member of the FH Innovation practice group.)
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lou Lou VIP shopping night

Welcome Erin Bury, Community Manager at Sprouter, an online collaboration tool for entrepreneurs. She loves shopping and can usually be found trying to justify her latest purchase. We’re thrilled Erin offered to write this guest post.

There are certain things that girls can agree on. One: that men are impossible. Two: That ice cream is a major food group. And three: that if you say the words "discount" "free drinks" and shopping to a girl she’ll immediately be interested. So you can imagine how happy I was when a friend forwarded me an invite to the Lou Lou magazine 5th anniversary block party.

The event took place in Montreal and Toronto on Wednesday, September 23rd (the perfect way to ease into fall, in my humble opinion), and being a resident of the Big Smoke I eagerly signed up for the event in Yorkville.

So what exactly did the block party involve? Well to celebrate their anniversary Lou Lou teamed up with several of the stores on the Bloor St. strip – The Gap, Banana Republic, Town Shoes, and Winners, among several others. Each of the stores offered a special discount for the night, contests (I’m still waiting to find out if I won a beautiful Banana Republic purse – cross your fingers for me), a bar complete with cute bartenders and delicious drinks (pomegranate martini anyone?) and trays of snacks. They also had a special “passport” and if you got it stamped at 5 stores you were entered to win a fabulous Betsey Johnson prize.

So I got to shop at my favourite stores, drinks and food in hand, at a discounted price. Oh, and I didn’t mention the best part – the gift bag. My girlfriend and I browsed at The Gap and Banana Republic but didn’t see anything that caught our fancy (except for the delicious Bailey’s White Russians and Smirnoff ready-to-pour Mojitos – I know what I’m buying for my next girls-night-in).

Then it was off to Town Shoes where I bought a beautiful pair of Steve Madden over-the-knee black leather boots –no discount on the pair but with my purchase I received a coupon for $20 off my next purchase and a gift bag (see photo). The gift bag was worth $200, so of course I HAD to buy the boots, if only for that – at least that’s what I told my boyfriend. The gift bag contained all kinds of goodies – a copy of Lou Lou magazine, Blistex lip balm, Fisherman’s Friend mints, a Fruits & Passion gift set, a Bic Soleil razor, a CityTV Cougar Town notebook, and more.

Next it was on to Guess – my girlfriend bought a necklace, and with a $5 donation to a local women’s shelter she received 20% off the purchase and an amazing gift bag. Her gift bag contained almost the same swag as mine, but as an added bonus she got a L’Oreal gift set and a $20 gift card to Guess.

Overall it was a fabulous night – I got to hang out with one of my best friends, enjoy some delicious cocktails, shop for fall fashions, and walk away with swag in hand. Thanks Lou Lou, for an awesome night that any bargainista would die for!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Clothing Show: we have our winners!

We have our winners! Thanks to Random Integer Generator, Eurydice, Fiona and Janice have all won a pair of passes to The Clothing Show this weekend. Please send along an e-mail with your first and last name and a note telling me who you are.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest. Look out for our next giveaway!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jenny’s top 5 mom must-haves

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Jenny shares her secret must-have list for making life with your baby easier.

A good friend of mine [ed. note: mine too!] had a baby recently and today was our first opportunity to get together so I could congratulate her in person and meet the little guy. (He is, of course, tiny, perfect, and adorable!) As we strolled along with our little ones we happened to pass by a local toy store, Treasure Island Toys, and stopped to check out the baby section. I suddenly found myself pressing numerous items into her hands, waxing rhapsodic about the baby products and accessories I’ve found most useful – even essential!

So I thought I’d share my favorites with you! Without further ado, here are my Top 5 Must-Haves for Moms:

1. Kushies wet bags
Ever found yourself in possession of a used diaper with no garbage can in sight, or soiled or wet baby clothes with nowhere to put them until you get home? These colorfully patterned drawstring bags will let you store the offending item(s) until you can deal with or dispose of them. I’ve even used them to tote a sopping wet bathing suit and towel back from the local splash pool, without a single leak.

2. Bebe Au Lait nursing cover
I’ve blogged in this space before about my love for these beautifully patterned, chic nursing covers. I carry one with me everywhere!

3. Ju Ju Be diaper wallet
Perfect for when you just want to carry a few essentials on a short trip, these purse-sized diaper wallets come in a variety of sizes and fun and funky patterns, and will fit a couple of diapers and a mini-pack of wipes. I love throwing one into one of my larger purses or totes, when I don’t want to carry a whole day’s worth of supplies or be weighed down by a diaper bag.

4. Sassy links
If you only buy one toy for your infant, make it these simple interlocking links. These colorful things have kept both my girls rapt attention during long car trips, waits in the pediatrician’s office, jaunts to the grocery store… and as they grow you can use them to attach larger toys and teethers to the stroller so they don’t hit the ground when they’re dropped.

5. Heinz Baby Basics Sticky Fingers disposable wipes

I don’t often use disposable face wipes – at home I find a wet facecloth works best – but when dining out with an infant who’s just learning how to handle purees or finger foods, sometimes disposables are a necessity. Of the ones I’ve tried I like these the best. Alcohol-free, they have a fruity scent (as opposed to the vaguely medicinal scent of other disposable face wipes), which means a lot less squirming and turning away when I’m trying to clean food off of baby’s face and fingers after a public meal. (Heinz is retooling their website so a link is unavailable – but they can be purchased at most grocery stores.)

What are your must-haves?
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Why Banana has so much appeal

I’ve been a fan of Banana Republic for a long time and I don’t even like a lot of what they carry in the store. But, I can usually find at least one thing I want anytime I walk into any of their stores… anywhere. I know how much of their clothes fit and I can buy, try at home and return unworn items within 30 days as long as the tags remain and I keep my receipts. Plus, they often have awesome sales. What could be easier?

What I’m not so crazy about is the fact it’s a chain store. I wish I had more time to spend trying on clothes at smaller, local shops and boutiques. Truth be told, I’m often in a rush and I’ve gained some weight, which makes it harder to find something I like that both fits and is affordable. At the end of the day, when I’m in a rush and looking for something reliable and within my budget, Banana is often my default stop.

During our trip to Chicago, although I did a bit of shopping (still another post or two to follow), I didn’t buy any new clothes for fall. So, when a coupon for 40% off appeared in my inbox the other day, I was thought it was pretty darn awesome. Of course I shared it immediately on my Twitter feed. Yep, 40% off on all regular-priced merchandise for two full days in mid-September is a pretty sweet deal.

Like everyone else who works on Bloor Street and can’t afford the likes of Chanel, I scooted on over at lunchtime on day one. The store was absolutely packed with people but low on stock. The line-ups at the cash were not to be believed. It looked like Boxing Day in the 80s! Thanks to the suggestion from Sarah Roger, I had hoped to find a suit but their really weren’t any that cranked my chain. Oddly enough, the fitting rooms were relatively empty. I quickly picked up a few pairs of pants and tried them on to confirm my size.

Then I went on to survey the rest of the store all the while wondering how I’d possibly have time to stand in line for at least 30-40 minutes. I had a client meeting in 15. There was no way. I resigned myself to putting down the pile of pants I was carrying, when out of nowhere came a salesperson. I took a chance and asked if he’d be able to put my items on hold. I told him I’d be back to buy all of them – even at 40% off, Banana was still accepting returns – he told me I could have until the end of tomorrow. Music to my ears. I couldn’t believe it – most stores would have said no way, especially when the stock was so low. I’m sure wearing a Banana Republic dress didn’t hurt my cause either. ;-)

How could I avoid a line up the next day? I needed to devise a plan. Hmm, arrive before noon to try beating the lunch rush. Walk directly to the cashier counter, do not pass go. Do not look at a single piece of clothing. Don’t worry about the clothes on hold.

Get in line, NOW! You’ll find a salesperson while your waiting. Yep, that was my plan. It worked. I was in line for less than 10 minutes, when a salesperson appeared. She was helping another woman in line who looked like she was buying one of everything in the store for her daughters. Be patient. Just a minute. Ah, finally. I had her attention and told her I had several pairs of pants and one sweater on hold. Within three minutes she was back with only a minute to spare before it was my turn to pay. Yahoo!

At the cash, I double-checked the return policy and also learned I could even exchange any of my purchase for the same item in another size at the same price (to be confirmed). I also got a postcard giving me 40% off on one regular-priced item once a week throughout the entire month of October! Talk about service and cultivating customer loyalty. Maybe I’ll still get that new suit yet... and at 40% off.

Have any shopping tricks up your sleeve?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Win tickets to The Clothing Show!

Want free tix?
The Clothing Show returns for fall 2009, offering a weekend of shopping, art, photography and runway shows. Once again, Bargainista is giving away three pairs of tickets. Comment by noon Tuesday, Sept. 22 to enter a random draw. Make sure to mention why you’d like a pair of tickets in your comment.

The Clothing Show
• Shop for unique finds from talented designers and artisans
• Deep discounts on big name labels in the sample sales section and unique treasures from vintage and retro vendors
• Runway fashion shows
• Art gallery featuring works by local artists
• Men’s & ECO sections!
• Every visitor gets a goody bag
• Enter to win a $1,000 shopping spree!

Fri., September 25 – 3 p.m.-9 p.m.
Sat., September 26 – 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sun., September 27 – 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place (See map.)

How much?
Tickets $8 in advance or $10 at the door. (Children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult.)
Free re-admissions

Monday, September 14, 2009

Announcing TO Social Media PR Events Wiki

Okay, so shoot me. Tonight’s post may be a bit off topic but on Blogger’s 10th anniversary and the eve of the season opener of Third Tuesday Toronto, it seemed only fitting that I give something back to a community that has done so much for me.

Lot’s of people in communications, marketing and PR whether they be part of the local fishbowl or not, have asked me to keep them informed about local events. This may surprise some of you who know me but I don’t go to them all. I don’t even know about some of them and as much as I’d like to have the time to keep you all in the know, I’m just not that scalable. ;-)

So, I’ve started a Toronto Social Media PR Events wiki (feel free to suggest a better name). I hope you’ll help keep it up-to-date with local events and/or events of interest to the local community.

If you’re looking for something more, Say Yeah maintains a more comprehensive event calendar.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Bargainista team is growing again...

One of the most rewarding things about having a blog is you! You make Bargainista the community that it is today.

When I first started blogging, three years ago this month, I wondered if anyone would care what I had to say. Then some friends started reading Bargainista and leaving comments. It was the motivation I needed to keep going. Soon people I hadn’t met in real life started leaving comments, subscribing to the feed or the email updates. The community started to grow.

Now almost 700 posts and three years later, we’ve had several guest blog posts and a regular column – baby bargainista – written primarily by Jenny and Rebecca, who have been doing an awesome job.

One community member in particular made herself known to me. She first came on my radar when she started leaving comments and won a giveaway soon after. We started emailing a bit and her warm, enthusiastic personality came through.

Contrary to what many people think about bloggers and their communities, many of us do meet in real life. Last June at the ChickAdvisor Recessionista Shop Crawl, we met in person. Sumaya was as sweet in real life as she was online. We introduced ourselves to each other and she gave me a warm hug.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was spending more time responding to emails from companies or people representing their clients than I was actually researching and writing new posts. From speaking with some of you in person, I knew many of you were wondering what happened to the volume and type of posts you used to read here. Ideas of enhancements were swirling in my head but with a full-time job and family, there was only so much time I could spend on the blog. Something had to change.

Perhaps a virtual assistant would be the answer. Only problem was, how could I justify paying an assistant when I’m not earning money from Bargainista? Even if I decided to try incorporating advertising or sponsorship to try and pay for a virtual assistant, it would take time – time that I didn’t have.

Fortunately, about a week later, Sumaya emailed me and told me she was pursuing a career in public relations – I had no idea – and she asked if I would introduce her to the principals of her favourite PR agency. I did. And then the wheels started turning.

Wouldn’t it make the most sense to create a position for a member of the community? Would she be interested in working together to create an internship/editorial assistant role whereby in exchange, she’d receive mentoring from me and the occasional product sent Bargainista’s way? So I asked her and she said “yes”!

I’m thrilled that Sumaya has agreed to join the team. Already she has done a great job of organizing Bargainista’s inbox. She’ll be helping me respond to some of the email requests I receive, post local event notices and perhaps some product reviews as a guest blogger.

Please help me welcome Sumaya to the team and stay tuned for my interview with her in an upcoming post.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Blo paints the town pink

Blo, Canada’s only blow dry bar, invites you to “paint the town pink” and celebrate its first two bar openings in Toronto.

Blo is a Blow Dry Bar. Scissors are verboten. Dye, ditto. For around $30, in about 30 minutes get a wash and blow out style. Not cuts, no colour: Just WASH BLOW GO. Clients choose from seven styles featured in the Blo Hair Menu, from the sexy razor-straight “Executive Sweet” to the rocker-chic inspired “Sex, Hugs and Rock & Roll”.

Sept. 23, 2009: 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Andrew Richards Designs
571 Adelaide St E (map)

How much?
Tickets are $15; all proceeds benefit POGO

For more ticket info., click here.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

My visit to Threadless - for real

The primary destination of our road trip was Chicago. As far as my kids were concerned, a trip to Chicago would be incomplete without a trip to the real-life, bricks and mortar Threadless store. Truth be told, the same could be said for me.

We had barely settled into our hotel room and there was no way the kids would even consider doing anything before making the trek to Threadless, so we did. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know I’ve been a huge fan of Threadless and how an online community was built around this brand that originally could only be consumed online. I was curious to see how it would translate into the offline world, particularly since most online stores are an extension of an existing offline store, not the other way around.

As you can see from the slideshow of my photos, skinnyCorp, the folks behind the Threadless brand, did a great job of translating the spirit of into a 3D format. The friendly staff was exactly what you’d expect and more. The tiny three-level shop was jam-packed with Threadless t-shirt goodness. Oh ya, in addition to a gift or two, my kids and I each bought a t-shirt – mine is called Fall Into the Sun. (Like all Threadless tees, it’s available online today for a mere $9US!)

But there are some differences from the online store:
A fraction of the styles are available – not surprising considering the huge inventory online.
New tees are released on Fridays (not Mondays) so you’ll have a head start on the online shoppers if you shop on the weekend.
StreetTeam points can’t be redeemed here. Instead, shoppers get a reusable bag with their initial purchase that can be reused for $1 off subsequent purchases – a recyclable coupon of sorts.

Now if I could only get the website to accept the photo of me in my new tee all would be well in the world. Seems it logs my purchase history but isn’t able to integrate in-store purchases.

And a quick aside, Threadless seemed to be situated on a block I dubbed “community row” because it’s beside a bike store filled with Specialized bikes and down the street from a bakery with a “Community Divas” cake in the window – check out the picture.

What do you think of Threadless? Do you think it was a good idea for them to open a storefront? If you’ve been there, what other differences have you noticed?
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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Why you should buy Six Pixels of Separation - the book

Some of the best things in life are free – some things you buy are even better.

Yesterday I returned from our family vacation aka Spodek Road Trip 2009 where we drove through to the U.S. Midwest and spent five glorious days in Chicago. The drive seemed incredibly quick. Why? I took my friend Mitch along. Well, actually I took a complimentary galley copy of his new book Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone, along for the ride. I was engaged the whole time and the drive flew by.

Several years ago, when I started reading blogs and listening to podcasts on a regular basis, I started reading Mitch Joel’s blog and listening to his podcast. I learned a lot from him for free. To this day, he continues sharing his wisdom and those of other digital marketing thought leaders for free. You can also read his regular column bi-montly in both the Montreal Gazette and Vancouver Sun.

And why should you bother?
Well, through his personal experience building his own personal online brand and Twist Image, his successful digital marketing business he shares the secrets of his success. He also shares real-life stories of other successful businesses and entrepreneurs who used the power of social media to get ahead. (I admit it, I’m somewhat biased because Mitch is Canadian. He refers to Canadian examples plus he talks about events I’ve attended like geek dinners and podcamps. Update: I was thrilled when I saw he included Kate Trgovac’s wonderful Squidoo lenses too.)

Like many other fans, I wondered what else I could learn from the book that I couldn’t get for free. I learned a lot and that I’d want my own copy even if I had to buy it and here’s a little secret – it’s even better than what Mitch gives away for free.

If you have a business big or small and your looking for ways to “Burn the Ships” or stand out in the crowd, Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone provides a wonderful overview with great tactical advice to help you navigate your journey in easily digestible chapters. Best thing is, Mitch explains how you can connect yourself and/or your business to everyone – your customers and potential customers – without having to understand technology or be a geek.

If by chance you’re interested in purchasing multiple copies, Chris Brogan has a special offer. Trust me and trust a Trust Agent, if you’re an entrepreneur with a blog or about to launch one, here’s another great way buying Six Pixels of Separation will help you gain exposure.

Did you read any good books this summer? How will they help connect you or your business better?
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Monday, September 07, 2009

Hidden gems in Ann Arbour

Wondering why I’ve been so quiet lately? My family was on a road trip to Chicago with a stopover in Ann Arbour, Michigan.

As you know, no vacation is complete without a visit to at least one local treasure. And we found one in Vault of Midnight Comics Books and Stuff. It was no surprise this place has a 4.5 star rating on yelp.

This comic lovers’ dream is a haven for indie comic book creators. Don’t you just love this sign on a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf designated for local talent?
There’s also a 6’ tall, 100 lb Uglydoll on display that you can custom order and have delivered to your home directly from the manufacturer. Apparently, it arrives in a box the size of a fridge.

We had a lovely dinner at Grizzly Peak Brewing Company – it was perfect family fare with tasty food and a descent children’s menu. One day I’d like to go back with Mr. B and dine on the patio of one of the lovely restaurants on Main Street. The food looked and smelled delicious. We had no idea that it was named one of the best Midwest food towns by Midwest Living Magazine earlier this year.

Ann Arbour’s Foodie Nation

Oh ya, and there’s one more cool thing about Ann Arbour – all the cafes seem to have free wifi.

Did you find any hidden gems this summer?

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Check out my interview on FinalFashion

Shortly after Bargainista began, some awesome and very connected members of the fashion blogging community contacted me and invited me to join them for the second Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch, started by none other than the incredibly talented and articulate Danielle Meder, the woman behind finalfashion. She’s a brilliant fashion illustrator too. (Thanks Danielle for letting me include one of your illustrations.)

Danielle interviewed me this week for her interview series, fashion blog karma where we discuss the intersection between the fashion and shopping blogger communities and public relations. Have a read. I’d love to know what you think.