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Friday, January 23, 2015

Introducing Blog Consulting + Social Media Strategy Services in 2015!

Photo by Jessica Blaine Smith
By: Lisa Ng

One of my major goals for 2015 is to raise $5000 with my husband Paul, so we can fund the construction of a water well in a village in Africa. This well will go on and serve close to 500+ people and provide them with clean water.
It's a big challenge, but so far we've raised over $1300 and our next goal is to reach the halfway mark of $2500.
So here's what's in it for you!
The first THREE people to donate a $100 or more to our page from NOW to February 28th, 2015 will receive an hour of FREE consulting from me by phone. So far, two people have taken me up on my January offer, that I decided to add three more slots for February! Here's how I can help:

Are you trying to get your blog off the ground? Do you need help developing a strategy for social media, building an audience, generating traffic or help finding a voice for your website?
I will once again be offering my Digital Content + Social Media Strategy Services in 2015. I help bloggers, small businesses, non-profits and corporate clients with things like:
  • Digital content creation + building a blog
  • Social media strategy + community management
  • Strategy for small businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Advice on working for yourself, working from home, working remote or freelance
  • Copywriting services
  • Creating Blogger outreach programs

For bloggers looking for strategy on the business of blogging I offer:
  • Media kit consulting + pricing strategy
  • How-to grow your audience and traffic
  • Building an editorial + social media schedule
  • Maximizing social media, engagement and reach
  • Advice on pitching back and pitching brands
  • How-to find and manage contributors
  • Blog design advice

Please do get in touch and let me know how I can help! Email me once you've made your donation and I will be in touch shortly. Let's make this water well happen!

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Niagara Icewine Festival

By: Lisa Ng

The Niagara Icewine Festival will be held this year from January 23rd to 25th and celebrates the world-renowned icewine that is made right here in Canada. The indoor/outdoor event is held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls and will feature VQA wines, gourmet cuisine and live entertainment. 

It's the perfect excuse for a little weekend getaway to Niagara Falls.

More than 15 of Niagara’s best wineries will be featuring their award-winning wines, icewines and sparkling wines at the festival. The convention centre will also offer an outdoor winter wonderland with fire pits, icewine marshmallows and ice sculptures. Inside the Scotiabank Convention Centre, delectable dishes created by 12 of Niagara’s top restaurants and culinary masters are paired with the featured seasonal vintages.

The 2015 Niagara Icewine Festival runs:

Friday January 23 -  6-11 pm
Saturday January 24 - 2-11 pm 
Sunday January 25 - 12-5 pm 

Discover more about the Niagara Icewine Festival by visiting Keep up with the Niagara Wine Festival by visiting

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wedding Shows 2015

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Getting ready to say your I Do's?

From the latest in wedding registries, fashion accessories, favours, flowers, cakes, djs and all the things that go into making every wedding unique and special, you will find it all at these upcoming wedding shows...

The Total Wedding Show
January 16 - 18 | The International Centre

The city’s biggest bridal show has everything you need to plan a lavish affair or a quiet destination wedding. Sample, compare prices, and view the hottest trends with over 350 of the best wedding retailers and service providers.

Spring National Bridal Show
January 23 - 25 | Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto. Hall D

Preview the styles and trends for the wedding season at the National Bridal Show and meet incredibly talented trend-setters from the bridal industry including wedding fashions, wedding venues, decorators, florists, cake designers and more.

The Wedding Co.
February 22, 2015 | Artscape Wychwood Barns

Shop a new Toronto bridal show, The Wedding Co. Market, Toronto’s first wedding market filled with independent, creative, forward-thinking businesses.

Toronto's Bridal Show
April 10 - 12 | Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto. Hall C

An urban and modern wedding show with over 150 exhibitors, bridal fashion shows and guest appearances by wedding experts.

April 18 | 918 Bathurst St

A different kind of wedding show. It’s the place to buy handmade, vintage and gently-used event decor for your wedding or next big bash. Come shop and enjoy live music, munch on a delectable treat from our sweet table, and sip a refreshing lemonade from our vintage lemonade stand.

Want to add to our list of wedding shows? Email wendy(at)hipurbangirl(dot)com.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Winterlicious 2015

By: Lisa Ng

Toronto's prix-fixe culinary celebration is back for another year as Winterlicious returns from January 30 to February 12, 2015 at participating restaurants across the city. I love it because it's a great excuse to get together with friends and to try a new restaurant that you've had on your to-eat list.

Reservations are highly recommended and restaurants began taking them as of yesterday for lunch and dinner. Make sure to call the restaurant directly to secure a spot. Lunches will range from $18-28, dinners from $25-45 depending on the restaurant.

To learn more visit the Winterlicious website and to see all the menus online.


Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Taste Taiwan

By: Lisa Ng

I had the pleasure of attending the Taste Taiwan event in Los Angeles in December and had the chance to sample some of the amazine cuisine Taiwan has to offer. I was lucky enough to sample a few of the dishes that inspired Chef Anthony Jacquet of The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge in Los Angeles. Here's what we tried:

Pork Belly Buns

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Camp Tech Blogging & Content Marketing Workshops

By Wendy Kam Marcy

It's the new year!

What resolutions do you have for your business? If you've let your blog or marketing strategy fall to the bottom of the priority list in 2014 then there is no better time than to rediscover how blogging and content marketing can jump start your business.

HUG was founded 4.5 years ago and I've been working in the online marketing space for almost a decade - building blogs and web content for both startup companies and large corporations. I've learned a lot during this time including what to do and specifically what not to do!

So I'm super excited to announce that I'll be teaching a NEW workshop at Camp Tech this year where I'll be sharing all my blogging secrets from "the other side"... so if you are a small business owner or the one managing your company's blog, sign up for "Business Blogging & Content Marketing".

It's a 3 hours interactive workshop where you will learn how to:

  • create your own unique voice in a crowded space
  • write content that will attract new business
  • setup an editorial schedule that is actually manageable
  • recruit and work with the best guest bloggers and top influencers
  • host contests and giveaways
  • understand how to measure your blog’s performance

Tuesday January 27, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Centre for Social Innovation (215 Spadina Ave)


If you are thinking of starting a blog or your goal is to turn your hobby blog into a reveune-generating business, then you may want to signup for my "Business of Blogging" Workshop on February 24.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays from The Hip + Urban Girl!

Happy Holidays from all of us here at The Hip + Urban Girl! 

We'll be taking some time off to spend time with friends and family and to fully enjoy the holidays. We will be back with ALL-NEW posts on Wednesday, January 7th, when our offices re-open for 2015!

You can see what we're getting up to over the holidays via our personal accounts at:

Lisa Ng on Twitter @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay

Wendy Kam Marcy on Twitter @WendyKamMarcy + on Instagram @WendyKamMarcy

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Festive Feast with Almond Breeze at Richmond Station!

By: Alison Silveira

I attended a festive holiday dinner prepared by Top Chef Canada winner, Carl Heinrich and his staff at his ever popular restaurant, Richmond Station. Having previously dined at Richmond Station to sample the famed stn. burger, I knew that whatever was on chef Heinrich's menu, I was sure to enjoy. Six sumptuous courses featured the delicious taste of Almond Breeze, the refreshing non-dairy beverage. I enjoy cooking with coconut milk and dairy products, but it never struck me to use Almond Breeze as a substitute for milk in my culinary endeavours. 

Chef Heinrich showed me just how versatile Almond Breeze can be, as he incorporated it in every one of his delicious courses and spoke about each individual dish. Innovative and unique, chef Heinrich's delicate Peking duck crepes featured spiced almonds and flavourful kimchi. 
The smoked trout amandine salad was a crowd pleaser, with its tartness of lemon marmalade complemented  perfectly with whipped almond puree. Cordial servers presented beautifully plated dish after dish with excellent wine pairings. 
An ambitious undertaking, the duo of Ontario pork featured Almond Breeze glazed porchetta and almond crusted rack accompanied with root vegetables. 

For the grand finale, I feasted on almond praline panna cotta with apple sorbet and whipped amaretto, which was artfully plated and absolutely divine. I was truly inspired by chef Heinrich's Almond Breeze themed dinner and his many creative liberties in using the product. 

I learned that there is so much more to Almond Breeze than just pouring it over your daily cereal or oatmeal. Healthy and nutritious, the nutty flavoured Almond Breeze beverage is a source of calcium, has no saturated fat, and is cholesterol and gluten free. 

Chef Heinrich shares his fantastic panna cotta recipe to inspire you to use Almond Breeze in a novel and creative way. Give it a go!

Carl Heinrich's Almond Breeze Panna Cotta
3 Gelatin sheets
1 cup Almond Breeze Vanilla
1 cup 35% cream
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp agar-agar

Bloom the gelatin sheets in a cup of cold water and set aside.
Whisk together the Almond Breeze, cream, sugar and agar-agar
in a sauce pot and bring to a boil while whisking rapidly over high heat.
Squeeze out any extra water from the bloomed gelatin sheets.
Remove sauce pot from the heat and stir in the gelatin.
Portion the mixture into bowls or tea cups and let them set uncovered in
the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.
Once set, remove from fridge and garnish as desired.
Serve and enjoy.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

4 Tips To Creating A Coveted Life from American Express & The Coveteur

A sponsored hip + urban girl post.
Are you a tourist or a traveller? Do you dine out regularly or are you a gourmand? Are you shopping to feel trendy or to curate a wardrobe you adore? And — what’s the difference anyway?

American Express Canada recently invited us to explore these themes and how to turn ordinary activities into extraordinary experiences that help you live an enriched life through a lively panel discussion with Stephanie Mark, The Coveteur, Laura Scheck, American Express Canada and Liloo Alim, Four Seasons Toronto moderated by Catriona Lamb, Coco & Cowe.

From experiencing Dubai as an official royal guest to snorkelling in the Maldives with a handsome stranger to dining at a quirky niche restaurant that pays homage to peanut butter. The evening was filled with incredible travel stories but also easy ways to enrich daily life through dining, travel and service experiences that we can all use.

Here are my 4 favourite tips of the evening: