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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

glamjulz Mother's Day Bracelet - Helping Dress for Success Toronto

The good people at glamjulz are hoping to help some women with their Mother's Day bracelet. You know how I love my glamjulz and rave about them every chance I get. If you have never bought anything from glamjulz, this is a great opportunity to do so and help others. Below is info on the Mother's Day bracelet from glamjulz creator, Monica Graves.

Bracelet, $40
There are many reasons that I started glamjulz... but I get the most satisfaction from helping women express themselves and feel beautiful in their own way.

As you many of you know, from other charities and organizations that I work with, I love being able to give back and share my success with the people that really need it. 

Being inspired by Mother's Day and positive female role models, I came up with the idea to not only celebrate women, but also to help them... this is why I have decided to help an organization called, Dress for Success.

The mission of Dress For Success is "to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life."

and here's how you can help... 

For every one of our 2014 Limited Edition glamjulz Mother's Day Bracelets that you purchase, I will donate a piece of glamjulz to Dress for Success Toronto.

Each donation will vary from pieces such as Necklaces, Bracelets, Earrings and Rings in many different colours and styles, in hopes that each woman in the Dress for Success program will have plenty of glamjulz to chose from, and that every outfit will have the perfect piece of coordinating jewelry. 

Looking beautiful, feeling strong, and believing in yourself can open many doors... and THANK YOU for your help in opening the door to success for these deserving women.

Monica Graves

Monica will be at Joelles in Burlington on Sunday May 4th from noon-4pm. The glamjulz studio will be open to the public for purchases on Thursday May 8th - 5100 South Service Road, Unit 23. The bracelet can also be purchased online by clicking here.

Monica will also be live on air with Annette Hamm on CHCH Morning Live Thursday May 8th at 7:20am to talk about the bracelet.

Other personal appearances for Monica include:

Saturday May 3rd
The Dressing Room
15 County Road 3, Belleville ON
10am - 3pm

Sunday May 4th
457 Brant Street, Burlington ON
12pm - 4pm

Saturday May 10th
Little Black Bow
28 Manitoba Street, Bracebridge ON
11am - 3pm

Wednesday May 14th
Marianne's Boutique Fashion Show
Travelodge 1376 Carling Ave, Ottawa ON
12:30pm - 2pm

Wednesday May 14
Just Curious
57 Hazeldean Road, Kanata ON
6pm - 8pm

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Still In Luv with Miz Mooz

One of my most popular posts to date is the one I did on Miz Mooz footwear. That original post was in 2008 after a trip to New York City where I first saw the brand. Since then many people have left comments to help fellow Canadians learn what stores sold this amazing brand all across the country. Because of the popularity of that post and page views the follow up posts still get I thought it would be a great idea to showcase their Spring 2014 collection.
Since writing that first post, a Miz Mooz Canada ecommerce site has been established and any style can be purchased. If for some reason you can't find this brand at a store near you, or a colour you wanted isn't available in store, you now have a back up, and PS. take a look at the sale section. There is also a store locator section, making it easy for you to find Miz Mooz at a neighbourhood store near you.
The Miz Mooz Canadian distributor was kind enough to send me photos of entire Spring 2014 collection. There were way too many to post in my blog so I have highlighed some styles below and created a Pinterest board for the collection.
As always the colours available are amazing, everything from Red, Yellow, Blue and Coral available. There are so many styles I want I don't even know where to start. If you make a purchase we would love to know what you bought so feel free to leave a comment below or post it on the Facebook group page.  
Some photos of my fave Miz Mooz Spring 2014 styles follow below. Be sure to check out the Pinterest board for the entire collection.

Miz Mooz Callista

Miz Mooz Harlowe

Miz Mooz Noreen

Miz Mooz Pomona

Miz Mooz Rhoda

Miz Mooz Starla
**A very special thank you to the Miz Mooz Canada team for providing me with images used in this post and on Pinterest

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sample Sale - Toronto

Posting for your info, a sample sale of a few brands all under one roof. Definitely worth going just to check out Foxy Originals and This is J. I love them both!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Etsy Style at One Of A Kind Show - Spring 2014

I had a lot of fun walking through the Etsy section at One of a Kind show this season. Below are some highlights from those booths. It was nice to be able to see the products in person and to actually speak with some of the Etsy vendors.

Crown Flora Studio
I fell in love with the bags from Crown Flora Studio. The material looked like it was suede but when I inquired I found out it is waxed canvas. It looked and felt amazing! Crown Flora Studios will even customize a bag from their line for you. All bags are handmade from waxed canvas and leather. One of the owners told me they will even rewax the bag for you. They also specialize in terrariums which were really beautiful. All products are available in their Toronto store or online.

The leather earrings from Fitzy caught my eye. Made out of leather and painted with dye to a water colour finish, a variety of colours and shapes are available. I liked that you could get a larger size earring and not have to worry about it feeling heavy because the leather would be so light. I spoke to Robin, the designer, and she told me her bow ties are extremely popular. Other leather accessories include sunglass cases, bracelets, and a cord keeper.

Blue Leather Pyramid Earrings, $30

Little Minnow Designs
I had a really nice time speaking with Lizzie Bradely, designer for Little Minnow, made the trek from Texas to be at the show. I'm a scarf nut and I really like the colours and designs she had on display. I liked the scarves were not super bulky when wrapped around the neck twice. Scarf fabric is a rayon/spandex blend and the print is screen printed by hand.  There was an amazing dark rose colour that was also nice and would have been my second choice.
Other items in their line include tea towels, tank tops, and iphone cases.
Prices on their website are in US$.

Infinity Scarf, White Dots on Black, $32. I bought this one.

I really liked the clothing from Tangente, an Ottawa based company. The owner, Cathy, designs and produces everything herself in studio in Ottawa. Tangente is eco friendly clothing, great style and very reasonable prices. My favourite piece was this cowl necked stripe dress.

Dress $100

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Daub + Design Is Genius At Seamless

Wandering through the One of a Kind Christmas show last December I came across the innovative creations from Daub + Design. I liked the leggings, fell in love with the scarves and wanted to buy myself a Panty of the Month subscription. As someone who prides herself on finding unique gifts I thought this one was brilliant. After all, even the woman who has everything needs new underwear once in awhile.
Panty of the Month ensures a seamless panty will be sent to the loved one of your choice (or yourself) for whatever duration you choose,  3 month, 6 month or 1 year with three colour ways to choose from: Multi colour, black tie die or solid colour or a mix of the two. Price starts at $59.95 for a 3 month subscription.

Sample of possible panties for Panty of the Month

Daub + Design describes their panties as "hug her curves while leaving no visible panty lines. Each one is made of a nylon/spandex blend with a comfy cotton gusset, but hand-dyed because she’s one-of-a-kind, just like each one of Daub + Design’s #1 seller".
I'm dying to try a pair and I really doubt just one will be enough which makes Panty of the Month subscription perfect! Sizes range from S - L and a size chart is available on the website. If you wanted to test one out various colour ways are also for sale on the website, $20 a pair.

Lexi Soukoreff, creator/designer of this brilliant line which started in 2010 in Vancouver, describes her line as one that explores colour, pattern, functionality and surface design techniques. Daub + Design seamless clothes and accessories are hand dyed and truly one of a kind like its customers, bringing together colour, pattern and effortless chic. The quality of the items was noticeable to me before even touching them and its obvious the amount of detail that goes into make each garment. Lexi is focused on making garments that are built for longevity so they hold up to her customers busy lifestyles.
Daub + Design will be at the Spring One of a Kind show in Toronto from March 26th - 30th  booth A59. If you miss the show items can be purchased from their website.

One of my faves, hand dyed organic cotton Brenna scarf
Adrianna legging in charcoal & black

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Everyone Needs Some Frye in Life

I remember the first time I ever saw Frye boots. I was in a store on Queen St W in Toronto and out of their massive assortment of boots a pair from Frye caught my eye. I'm not sure what made them stand out, maybe the outstanding quality was evident or the classic style which always stays trendy and appeals to my style hit home. When I turned the boot over and saw the price I quickly put them back and thought I could never pay that much for boots. At that time I had never heard of the brand.
Fast forward a few years later, I now own 3 pairs of those boots. I made the plunge and bought 2 pairs in 2012 and another pair the following year and now I have an obsession. Pretty sure ballet flats from Frye will be in my future. 
When I researched Frye I realized why they cost more than other boots. I also realized if I bought these boots I would likely have them for many years. Some people on twitter told me they were going into their 4th or 5th year with their Fryes and still going strong. 
I started off with the Paige Tall Riding Boot. I liked the style, it was classic, yet trendy and I felt like I would get a lot of wear out if them which helped justify the price to me. Originally I wanted black and when the store didn't have my size I tried Grey which I ended up getting and now get compliments on non stop.

My very own Frye Paige Tall Riding Boot
The second pair I got was Melissa Back Button in brown. I desperately needed brown boots so it made sense to get them in Frye. Surprisingly I wore them just as much as the grey pair. 
Off the bat the first thing I noticed was how comfortable they were. I wore them to some events I went too where I was on my feet walking for 3-4 hours and my feet felt like they were in slippers. I had no pain in my feet or knees which was unusual. In my non Frye boots, that was always a problem.
Melissa Button Back Boot, tried to get the buttons in the photo

The history of The Frye Company goes back to 1863 USA. It is really an incredible story and deserves to be read in full, in much more detail than I could provide for you here. Please visit the Heritage section of their website to read the history. You will understand, as I did what goes into every piece of footwear and why they cost what they do.
I love Frye so much I had to create a Pinterest board to keep track of all the styles I liked. you can see it here.
I would love to hear your Frye story if you have one!

Sold at fine retailers everywhere and The Frye Company website will now ship online orders to Canada.

If your on Pinterest, follow me: ChristinaWlrt to follow this board and others.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

One of a Kind Show Late Night Event

Back on December 5th I went to the One of a Kind Show Late Night Event for the first time. Having seen this advertised for a few years I was curious what went on when free parking, dj's and give aways were involved.
The late night event keeps the show open until 11pm instead of the usual 9pm and parking is free after 5pm. Its worth going just for that if you feel you can get your shopping in by 11pm. In terms of crowds it was more crowded than a regular week day night but less crowded than a weekend. There were prizes given away every hour and some pretty good ones (which I did not win but congrats to those who did).
I did stop and chat with a few vendors. One of my favourites was Daub & Design, a company from Vancouver. The owner/creator and I chatted for quite a bit. I loved their underwear of the month club and think this makes a fantastic gift for anyone. They also had great leggings and scarfs which I'm hoping will be a future purchase for me at some point.
All in all it was a fun night, shopping with some music and shows mixed in. I will definitely be back for the Spring edition.

The One of a Kind Spring Show takes place March 26-30th with Late Night Shopping on Thursday March 27th. Click here for more information. Hope to see you there.

Here are some photos from some of the fashion shows during the evening.



glamjulz Studio Sale Valentines Edition