Sunday, July 18, 2010

Roots x Douglas Coupland Collection

Last Tuesday night I attended my first event in ages. Although the invitation arrived in my inbox just the day before, it was hard to pass up and the buzz about the Roots x Douglas Coupland collection has been electric. So, I skipped the visit to the eponymous pop-up store and went directly to Roots’ flagship store on Bloor St. and headed upstairs to see what all the fuss was about.

The space looked incredible. I didn’t recognize anyone except for David Suzuki, who paid a quick visit and chatted with a few attendees. Minutes later a few friends from the fashion blogger community showed up Kimberly Lyn and Tricia Campbell, who introduced my to the lovely Tanja Zelko, Roots’ own online voice whom I’d been following on Twitter for ages.

As for the collection, Douglas Coupland’s vision interpreted on Roots’ merchandise is lively, colourful and comes in a full-range of standard Roots’ clothing and gift items. My favourites are the Douglas Coupland Kanga Hoodie and Douglas Coupland Motherboard Square Scarf.

Roots did a very cool thing by offering their Facebook fans access to the Roots x Douglas Coupland collection in mid-June (two weeks before it was available in bricks-and-mortar stores). It’s been selling like hotcakes ever since. And I did visit the pop-up store at 680 Queen W. today – it closes July 25 so get their fast if you want to check it out. Love the pop-up store concept but the Bloor St. location is where it’s at if you want the best selection of the Roots x Douglas Coupland collection.

One suggestion I have for Tanja and the event team at Roots is next time, either offer your guests a special discount during events like these and giving guests a little takeaway to remember the event and share with their friends. Tanja was wearing a Roots x Douglas Coupland black leather wristband. Just like this red one but in black. It retails for a mere $8 (and costs Roots less to produce). While visiting the pop-up store I saw a box of posters – that would have done the trick too. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go to these events expecting discounts or swag, but a little takeaway for the small number of people who attended the event would have gone a long was in helping to spread the word offline.

Have you seen the Roots x Douglas Coupland collection? If so where? What do you think of pop-up stores?

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Mabel's Labels give new meaning to lifesavers

For the past few years, I’d only been hearing wonderful things about Mabel’s Labels but being the cost-conscious person I am, I opted for the cheap iron-on labels when labelling my kids’ clothes for summer camp.

This year it was different. L’il Spo had grown a tonne and needed lots of new clothes. We'd run out of the iron-on labels and I had run out of time, not to mention desire to iron labels in the midst of a heatwave.

I kept reading all kinds of tweets from other moms who were swearing by Mabel’s Labels. So, after lots of humming and hawing and the promise of a quick turnaround by @mabelhood, I bit the bullet and placed an order for stick-on labels aka “Classic Tag-mates”.

My order was placed on a Sunday night and by Tuesday, I had my 75 labels. I didn’t even opt for express postage. What a lifesaver!

Before the Tag-mates arrived, I fretted over the size and style. Even though I had the opportunity to preview the final product online, I worried if they’d look to young for my almost-12-year-old and if they'd be too big. When they arrived, I was pleasantly pleased they looked exactly as ordered (text-only, no cutesy colours or icons designed for younger kids). But I was surprised as how small they were, which made them a bit difficult to apply. I know, I know, the dimensions are right on the website but c’mon who really takes out a ruler and checks, not me. Otherwise, they were quick to apply and easy to use. The real test will be if they’re still on all my L’il Spo’s clothes when he returns from camp.

Regardless, I’ve become a Mabel’s Labels convert. There are lots of other products to choose from so whether you’re still preparing your child’s clothing for camp or thinking about labeling them for school or daycare, have a look. While you're there, check out the other items including stationary and kid safety products too.

Cool tips:
If you shop between now and August 6 and spend $80 or more, you can save $25 on a purchase between October 5-November 2.

Oh ya, I searched for a discount code online and saved 10% on my order. Try entering “DEALPL” and see what happens.

While your at it, check out the Mabel’s Labels LOL Essentials Combo Kit Giveaway at Serendipity mommy.

Check out all the ways you can keep in touch with Mabel’s Labels.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

L'il Spo reviews Toy Story 3 for Xbox

L’il Spo is the pseudonym for my younger son who contributed this guest review after I received a review copy of Toy Story 3 for Xbox 360 from Disney Interactive Studios.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a huge Toy Story fan. I saw Toy Story 3 with my dad on opening weekend and thought it was one of the best movies ever. When my mom brought the video game home I thought it might suck because like most games based on kids’ movies, it would be too young for anyone my age or older (I’m almost 12.) Then I started playing it and discovered that one of the modes is good, which would be the Toy Box mode. And the other main mode, which is the actual story, I found kind of dull and not as good as the Toy Box mode. The Toy Box mode I enjoy playing because it has lots of open customization. For example, in order to change what the citizens in Toy Box mode wear and look like, you get to throw them in a store and for someone like me that’s just pure PWNAGE!!!!

The one thing about the game that I really dislike is the fact that it has many long and boring loading sequences. Another thing that surprised me was the fact that there are actually some challenging missions that I might find a tad difficult if were younger. Overall though, I recommend this game to any Toy Story fan who enjoys playing video games. Even so, in some cases I would find similarities between the Toy Box mode and games like SIMS because of all the customization.

I rate this game for the original score I give it a 4 out of 5 stars because although I do love the song You’ve Got a Friend in Me, it’s quite repetitive and can get a bit annoying when playing the game. For graphics, I give it another 4. I thought they were good but not anything that blew my mind. And now for the score for the overall game, I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. This is L’il Spo signing off.

P.S. My mom wanted me to tell you this game is also available for the Wii and PlayStation 3.

Full disclosure: Disney Interactive Studios and Xbox are both clients of High Road Communications, my employer. I was not asked to do anything in return for the game.

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