Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Unique Shopping Options this Holiday Season

I feel like I've been hearing about Black Friday for a month and now that it's approaching I'm wondering when this became a thing in canada.
There are some other really cool events happening, where you can also shop, not for deals but for unique and interesting things you likely won't see anywhere else, let alone a mall

What I can do is highlight a few events where you will be able to shop for non mall product, buy something made in Canada or even your neighbourhood and support local businesses. What better time than the Holidays to do those?

I've heard a lot of advertising for this event which makes me happy. I hope it is reaching others like me who have not previously known about this event. Sponsored by Yellow Pages, Shop The Neighbourhood, lists deals available from various local businesses valid on November 29th to entice people to come and check out their wares and hopefully turn them in to regular customers. A list of businesses and deals for Toronto and other cities are available online at this link.

Starting Friday November 28th, Distillery District kicks off its annual Christmas Market with a tree lighting ceremony at 6pm. Always a local favourite, beautiful on a normal day, at Christmas with all the lights and festive atmosphere it's that much more stunning and sure to put you in a holiday happy mood. Various vendors set up outside and regular Distillery business are also open to shop/walk through. Different events take place though out the duration of the Market. A full schedule is available online under the Events section on the Distillery website. 

Their biggest show of the year and celebrating over 30 years, the One of a Kind Christmas is a must stop shop for anyone. Different artisans selling and making anything from food, clothing, art, accessories and toys, everything is made by the artisans and for some the show is their store. I can't even begin to tell you how much I've bought from the show and how many comments I've had from people on my various purchases. As often as I've been, I always find new artisans to love. My list of books I must check out continues to grow. I've listed a few of my favourites in a previous post from last year and prior to that. It's a show that never gets old and will amaze you in terms of the talent people have and what their creative minds dream up to design and make. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

One of a Kind Christmas Show

I wanted to remind everyone the One of a Kind Christmas show starts this week. I highly recommend you check it out. You will see things you've never seen before and definitely would not see anywhere else. Buy something for yourself and give someone you love a unique gift this year.
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dining in Style in Woodbridge

Although I don't consider myself a city girl, I rarely spend time in the suburbs anymore for various reasons. When I eat out there it tends to be at chain restaurants which usually aren't my first choice when in the city.
When I got an invite to celebrate a friends 40th birthday at Sapore restaurant in Woodbridge I was very curious as to how I would like it. Knowing the birthday girl is particular and liked this place was the first inclination it was going to be good. I also have an unwritten rule that says if an Italian person wants to eat at an Italian restaurant chances are its going to be pretty good. It proved to be true this time.
Our meal started off with appetizers that had been preordered for us, calamari (which I didn't eat) and an antipasto plate. The ladies raved about the calamari so I believe it was good. I had some different things off the antipasto plate. My favourite was the baked goat cheese, simply amazing!
For dinner I chose the stuffed gnocchi, described as fresh potato dumplings stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach served in rose sauce. I could eat it again and again. I'm not sure what all the dinners ordered were but everyone was very happy with what they got, especially the birthday girl and her seafood pasta. I wish I was organized enough to take food photos.
I would definitely eat there again and would suggest it to people who are going to be in the area. This goes on the list of places I would visit again. Wonderful ambiance and great food.

Sapore by Zafferano
8000 Hwy #27

Monday, July 21, 2014

Yoga Jeans Get Better With Colour

If you have been reading here for some time, or follow me on twitter, or look at my Notashopaholic Facebook group page you will know how big of a fan I am of Yoga Jeans from Second Denim Co. Since writing my first post about them a few years ago, I have continued to buy their denim and they are practically the only jeans I wear now. When I see someone on Twitter who has discovered the brand and bought their first pair of jeans say "they are the most comfortable jeans I have ever worn" I nod to myself and say I knew they would be.
As fanfare and popularity of Yoga Jeans grows I thought I would check back in with them to see how the line has progressed and what they were offering for Summer 2014. This collection is centered around the Boyfriend jean, trouser style denim, playful strips, fresh colours and a much anticipated jean jacket.
The Spring/Summer 2014 colour palette includes 15 colours! The collections are as follows:

Sugar Spring - available in Mid Rise Skinny, High Rise Skinny, High Rise Straight & High Rise Ankle
Colours: Slate, Cherry Blossom, Key Lime, Crimson, Azure

Faded Tones - available in Mid Rise Skinny, High Rise Straight & High Rise Ankle
Colours: Lake, Oatmeal, Aruba, Vintage Rose, White

Summer Dream - Mid Rise Skinny, High Rise Straight and High Rise Ankle
Colours: Papaya, Dessert, Mirror, Lemonade, Mermaid

With so many more colours and styles to choose from I'm sure there is one just perfect for you (and me) for this summer. Considering its only mid July there is still plenty of time to wear coloured denim.
If you are already a devoted fan of Yoga Jeans leave a comment to tell us why you love. There still may be some who need convicing to give these a try (hard to believe I know but possible) I would love to hear your thoughts on the brand.

About Second Denim
Founded in 2000, Second Denim Co. is a premium Canadian denim brand. Founder, Eric Wanza, introduced "comfort" to today's world of denim by fusing perfect fit, diagonal stretch and sexiness into one pair of jeans, creating what is now know as every retailers coveted secret: Yoga Jeans. Embracing the body's natural movements, Yoga Jeans are designed to leave every woman feeling sexy, confident and comfortable. Today, Second's international success is taking over the world of denim one pair at a time, generating a loyal fan base of Yoga Jeans enthusiasts.

Twitter: @yogajeans
Facebook: Yoga Jeans

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Friday Night Live at Royal Ontario Museum

There is something really cool happening in Toronto Friday nights and it's at, take a wild guess, Royal Ontario Museum! I had been hearing about and seeing tweets and pictures for ROM Friday Night Live since last year. I finally attended myself for the first time in May and was quite impressed.

The dinosaurs are ready to rock for ROM Friday Night Live

The crowd arrives
The entire museum is turned into a festive rocking place complete with bars and various food stations throughout the building.  The main floor has the largest stage and dancing area. My group and I stumbled across a great set up on the 2nd floor, an entire room for dancing, a few bars to choose from and food stations. It may be a good idea to see a list of all the different food stations available. I chose very quickly and then saw several other things I would have liked to try on other floors. Next time rice balls, you are mine.

Let's listen to music while we look at some gems

One of the main reasons I really like this event is that we had a very mixed group of people in age, location and maritial status and it appealed to everyone. I can't say that for a lot of things. Plus as much as I love the museum on a normal day, this made a museum trip seem uber cool, fun and I got to dance IN A MUSEUM! How many people can say that? It's a great girls night out, date night (find a date night) or catching up with friends night. I would definitely go again and highly recommend it to anyone.

The group hangs out and chats. Where to next ladies?

Wander around long enough and you find a superhero at FNL ROM
On the main floor you will also find the Ford Canada VIP lounge. Make sure you visit, its worth it for a great photo of you in a car getting attacked by a dinosaur. It makes for a great souvenir and memoir of the evening.

Food and beverage tickets can be purchased at the ROM and are good at all bars and food stations. Each ticket is $6. Non drinkers can purchase a soft drink and keep the cup for refills all night. A great idea and I like the support for the non drinkers and designated drivers.

Dessert! Must keep the energy up for dancing

Tickets for the event are $12 and can be purchased in advance online and a select number sold at the door the night of the event. Event goes from 7pm - 11pm.

ROM Friday Night Live is a seasonal event and will run until June 27th. Information on a Fall 2014 session is still to be released. Check out #FNLROM on twitter to see what people are saying about it, twitter account is @ROMToronto.

Ford VIP Lounge

Our hang out on the 2nd floor, where all the cool people are
© Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queen’s Park, Toronto,
ON M5S 2C6
Regular Hours
Mon - Thurs 10am-5:30pm
Fri 10am - 6:30pm
Sat - Sun 10am - 5:30


Monday, May 26, 2014

Ontario Volunteer Service Awards

I have to admit, once in awhile I get invites to some pretty cool parties and events. With all of the things I have been lucky enough to attend, none of them mean as much to me as the event I attended April 28, 2014.
I was informed by the organization I volunteer with, Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, that I would be receiving an Ontario Volunteer Service Award for my 5 years of volunteering at the centre. I was quite flattered and honoured to be recognized so formally for my volunteer position,which honestly doesn't even feel like work :).
The ceremony took place in Mississauga on April 28th with representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration handing out the pins. Personalized certificates were picked up after the ceremony. I was able to bring a guest so my Mom came to watch me get my award. While myself and other volunteers from Living Arts Centre received recognition for 5 years of service some of the other attendees received awards for 25 years of service or more, some had 60+ years! Absolutely amazing when you consider one of the requirements was years of service had to be with the same organization.
After the ceremony we took some photos and got to chat over some finger food and dessert. The guide dogs in training stole the show and no one could compete with them. It was very humbling to be in a room full of people who dedicate time to volunteering and making a difference.

I often get asked about my volunteer work and I encourage others to do it. There are so many organizations that need great volunteers. You would be amazed what it does for you. If you have any stories or experiences to share about volunteering I would love to hear them. Please leave a comment below. Let's see if we can motivate others to take the step towards volunteering.

LAC volunteers and CEO

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring Fashions from Chloe Angus

I came across the fashions of Chloe Angus at the One Of A Kind Christmas show last year. I highlighted them briefly in my new and notable post about the show and always knew I wanted to dedciate a full post to them. I love the story of the brand and what they represent for women. An eco friendly company that features made in Canada clothing for women of all shapes defiinitely deserves to be celebrated.

Here is a little bit about the brand:

At ChloĆ« Angus Design, we pride ourselves on being an eco-chic company in many aspects.  Not only do we use natural and sustainable fabrics, but we aspire to run a green company.
We support the North American economy by producing our garments in Vancouver BC, in a locally owned, sweat shop free environment.  The environmental impact of everything from our labels to our buttons is taken in to careful consideration.
We also try to sustain a healthy body image.  We have realistic sizing for our garments and when it comes to choosing models we like to show all types of beauty.  We use models of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds.  This diversity shows that all women are beautiful.
When buying Chloƫ Angus you will be buying with a clean conscience knowing that together we are here to support the world we live in.
I was speaking to Chloe when she was here in Toronto for the March One of a Kind show. We talked a lot about how hard it is to be a small business in Canada but also the advantages this gives Chloe in developing her line. Because items are made in Vancouver, along the way if something doesn't work, it's obvious pretty quickly and Chloe can take measures to correct the issue so an entire production run isn't ruined.
Celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, they are obviously doing something right. The Haida wraps have become one of their most popular items. Back when the Haida print started to be use in the collection, people were unfamiliar with it. Now customers come to Chloe Angus asking for it. The Spirit Collection is produced in partnership with Clarence Mills, a renowned Haida artist creating artwork using the ancient traditions of his people and his colleciton of work ranges from jewellery to totem poles. The Spirit Collection allowed him to expand his artistry to fabrics and fashion.
The wraps have long been a customer favourite and I can see why with all the versatility they offer. In addition to those, their dresses and skirts caught my eye both times I visited their booth at One of a Kind. Appreciating that women come in all shapes and sizes, Chloe Angus collection prides themselves on clothing pieces that will look good and flatter every woman no matter age or body shape and become staples in their wardrobe.
Some pieces from their 2014 Spring Collection are highlighted below. You can also like their Facebook page to keep up to date with what this collection is doing. There are more photos of the collection available on this Pinterest board.

Spirit Button Wrap

Skirt Dress
Some pieces from the Spring 2014 Collection