American Express

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Let's Go to The Ex!

By: Lisa Ng
The CNE signals the end of summer, but this outdoor fair and carnival is one of my favourite things about Toronto. I mean when else is it perfectly acceptable to eat a corn dog, funnel cake and 99 cent spaghetti in one day?
The 136th annual Canadian National Exhibition gets underway August 15 – September 1, 2014. Make sure you stop in to the FOOD Building, catch the SuperDogs and their tricks and ride the skyway across the top of the midway. I love shopping through all the crazy stuff at the Arts & Crafts Building and always go home a pound of fudge. The CNE will also hosts one of Canada’s largest food truck rallies on August 22 – August 24. 

TICKET PRICES from August 15 - September 1, 2014
General Admission (14-64) $18
Adults 65 & Better $14
Children (13 and under) $14
Children 4 and under FREE
CNE Family Pass $50
(2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children)
Ride All Day Pass** $38 (rides only; does not include admission)

To learn more visit:

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

It's an Etsy Road Trip!

By: Lisa Ng

Etsy is hitting the road!

The Etsy Road Trip will be traveling to major cities across Canada in a 30-foot custom AirStream trailer and will make a tour stop in Toronto on Friday August 8th from 11 AM to 7 PM at King St. W. and Brant St. On Saturday August 9, Etsy road trip will make a stop at the historic Distillery District on South Trinity Street from 10 AM - 6 PM.

Look for flower crowns, bowties, handmade nail polish, nail art, jewelry and accessories at this mini Etsy pop-up. BeaverTails, We Got Balls and Gourmet Gringos will be serving up food and music will be provided by Emmy Rouge, Michael Rault and Taylor Knox Band.

For latest up-to-date info on #EtsyRoadTrip, visit:

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Foodie Getaway: Niagara-On-The-Lake

By Wendy Kam Marcy

It's summer and that means road trips! This month my family was looking for a quick escape (an hour and a half or less) from the city with lots of great food. Destination: Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL)!

Our friends at Ford generously offered to lend me their new 2014 Fusion SE Hybrid for my trip. I've always wanted a Hybrid but thought you can only really benefit from them if you do a lot of city driving. Turns out it's become very fuel efficient for highway commuting as well. And when gas prices are $1.35 per litre and climbing, the Ford Fusion Hybrid makes a whole lot of sense!

Off we go!

NOTL is a pictureque town in Southern Ontario where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario. It's a charming place known for its vineyards, boutique shops and of course, The Shaw Festival. It is ranked #2 when it comes to Toronto's top five close-to-home driving destinations.

First stop... lunch at the prettiest vineyard!

Since we were driving, we skipped the wine tours and instead enjoyed wood fired pizzas at The Ravine Vineyard. And of course, we couldn't leave without stocking up on jams and pickles at their Canning House.

TIP: Take the scenic route in via Niagara Parkway. It begins at Fort Erie in the south and passes through several villages along the river and through the tourist district of Niagara Falls. North of the city it provides access to attractions such as the Whirlpool Rapids, Butterfly Conservatory, and Brock's Monument at Queenston Heights. The route ends at Fort George, southeast of the urban centre of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hip + Urban Girl of the Month: Rayanne Langdon

By Wendy Kam Marcy

I met Rayanne four years ago. She was one of the very first people that read our blog and has helped us grow it to what it is today. She's a geek girl with a big heart, loves the Blue Jays and is taking over the social media scene at her latest venture. Say hello to Rayanne Langdon, our HUG of the Month!

1) What is a typical day in the life of Rayanne Langdon?

I like to say that all I care about is having fun. Oh, and being nice to people as much as humanly possible : ) I'm not a morning person, so I usually get on the go later than most. After I spend the day loving the hell out of our tilters (that's what we, at Crowdtilt, call our users), I'm either out to dinner with a friend, at karaoke, or something else I should probably be embarrassed about.

2) You recently made a big career switch to leave the agency life. Tell us about how you came to your decision and the things that you look forward to most in your new job.

I've been all over the place! I started in agency, went to FreshBooks, went back to agency, and now I'm at Crowdtilt : ) Agency is such an amazing place to grow and learn a ton of responsibility, but I'm scrappy. I hate busy work and process for the sake of process. Sometimes (most of the time) things just need to get done and you need to take risks. I'm so excited to be back at a startup, making decisions, and doing things that immediately impact our community.

3) What makes a good Community Manager?

A true love for the product you're marketing, always putting customers first, and really wanting to help and talk to your users and community all the time. "Community Manager" has come to mean a lot of different things, largely focusing on social media, but a good Community Manager loves the hell out of anyone who uses their product or wants to.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

EVENT: Lean In at The Spoke Club

After COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg spoke to TED about the difficulties of her career path, the community support was so overwhelming she released Lean In, a book to discuss it further. Now, four years later, Lean In Canada is holding a talk at The Spoke Club with Networking queen Donna Messer discussing women, work and the will to lead.

Hosted this Tuesday, July 29th at 7 PM inside The Portland Room at The Spoke Club, this event is just one of the  exclusive networking and professional development opportunities available to Spoke Club members for free through their monthly programming. Normally you'd have to be (or know) a member to attend but Tamika's opening her guest list to invite 2 hug readers to join her!

Simply leave a comment with how you're "leaning in" in your career and why you'd like to attend and 2 readers will be chosen at random on Monday, July 28th at 5 PM to be included on Tamika's personal guest list for Tuesday.

Good luck!

For event details and club info visit

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

No Good Women Left Behind: Fundraiser For Carolyn Van

On Wednesday, July 30, Toronto performance and training group High Heels High Hopes presents No Good Woman Left Behind in support of our friend, Carolyn Van, who is on a mission to kick cancer in the butt.

Taking place at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club(722 College St.), the evening will feature musical guest Cory Lee and performances from dance groups fronted by Kay-Ann Ward, High Heels High Hopes and more. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on prizes during NGWLB’s silent and live auctions with 100% of the proceeds going towards the group’s $20,000 fundraising goal.

For more information or to purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

We also featured Carolyn as a Hip + Urban Girl of the Week - check out her interview to see why this tech entrepreneur is so awesome!

Monday, July 21, 2014

How I Collect + Travel on Points

By: Lisa Ng

Trying to get more places on reward points? I made this little video with my friends at American Express Canada on how I earn points and what I've redeemed them for in my travels. 


The TryFit Pass - 6 Months + 20 Studios

By: Lisa Ng

The Tryfit Pass is a cool new fitness pass that launched in Toronto. It provides members with access to 20 trial classes at 20 specialty fitness studios in Toronto’s core. The pass is $49 and gives you introductory admission to all 20 partnering studios and you have 6 months to explore different ways to keep active within the city core. 

I love the idea of trying new workouts and local businesses. Studios cater to all fitness levels and abilities from the seasoned veteran to the simply curious. The flexible drop-in classes also work well with busy schedules. 

You can see all the different studios and classes available online at:

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

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just ShoeMe Baby!

Shoe lovers, rejoice! Canadians finally have a fab (affordable) online destination for footwear -- with free shipping and returns to boot. Head to to shop fashion forward brands like Sam Edelman and BCBG alongside trendy fast fashion from the likes of Jessica Simpson sprinkled with comfy stylish labels like Ecco, Converse and Toms.  With over 180 brands to choose from, I'll warn you confess I probably spent at least an hour browsing the site. 

These are a few styles that almost made it into my shopping cart: 

1. Minnetonka Fringe High Top Booties in Charcoal. Perfect for denim cut-off inspired  festival chic looks.  
2. Converse Dainty Flats in Light Grey. The easiest way to dress down a sweet day dress. 
3. Dusaka Strappy Sandals in Orchid. Amazing for summer weddings. 
4. BCBG Cynthia Pump in Black / Sand. I don't work in a traditional office but I will be doing some networking and speaking for biz next month and these would be polished but not boring. 
5. Arturo Chang Kenneth Flats  in Pyython and Nude. Dying for these to wear with a full midi skirt!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mandarin: Celebrate Canada Menu

This year, Mandarin - the famous Chinese buffet restaurant - is celebrating its 35th anniversary, and they’ve decided to celebrate Canada’s birthday as well. For the month of July, you’ll be able to find some classic Canadian dishes like poutine, maple glazed salmon, and mussels marinara on their buffet, along with their classic Asian dishes like fried rice, spring rolls and sushi. Even the décor reflected the holiday, with strings of Canadian flags hung throughout the restaurant, blending in with the traditional Chinese design.

I always start off my trips to Mandarin with a big bowl of wonton soup and this time was no different. On the next round, I selected a mix of the new dishes along with old favourites to fill my plate. This is probably the only time I’ll ever see tourtière and bison and beef cabbage rolls alongside chow main and lemon chicken, but all were equally delicious.