Friday, May 27, 2016

Switch to eBills with Toronto Hydro!


Are you still getting bills in the mail? 

We finally have the reason for you to finally make the switch to eBills! Go paperless with  your Toronto Hydro bill and you'll get a FREE Envirocare paper product as a thank you. It's a great time to go green and unclutter that mailbox of yours.

Envirocare products are made with 100% recycled paper which saves 1.7 million trees annually - see a cool theme here? You'll get a coupon in the mail to redeem for your Envirocare product of your choice (up to $12) once you've switched.


Not only that, you'll be entered into a draw to WIN a National Geographic Journey G Adventures trip to the Rocky Mountains valued at $9,300! Picture yourself on a 12-day adventure through Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, Vancouver Island, Whistler and the Icefields Parkway. 

The prize includes 2 round trip economy flights (up to $1500 CAD value) including taxes and fees, along with your tour, lodging, 11 breakfasts and one dinner. It's truly a trip of a lifetime!


How's that for motivation?

Get on it quick because the campaign runs for just 8 weeks only and you have to make the switch before June 30th, 2016 in order to qualify. Paperless eBills are better for the environment and you get 24/7 access to your account online for the past two years in just one place.

Don't miss out on your chance to do something great for your environment, get a FREE Envirocare paper product PLUS the chance at winning an awesome prize!

SIGN-UP HERE!



Thursday, May 26, 2016

#BestPetBestBuy x Woofstock Giveaway

By Shari Archinoff

My dog, Tucker, is 5 years old but I still think of him as a puppy. However, at his last check-up, out vet reminded me that he’s closer to his senior years than puppyhood. He also suggested that Tucker slim down a bit, because being overweight for a dog his size can cause hip problems later on. Luckily for us, there are some great new products on the market designed to help your pets stay healthy, and Best Buy was kind enough to send me a few of them.

The first item in their box of goodies is the FitBark, a little bone-shaped device that attaches to your dog’s collar. The device itself is pretty compact, so even a smaller dog could wear it all day without it getting in the way. It works with an app that helps you track your dog’s activity and helps you figure out what they get up to during the day.

I work from home so I happen to know that Tucker spends most of the day lying by the front door, but I like that it turns your dog’s active times into “bark points” so you can track your progress. I’m sure both Tucker and I will look forward to taking longer walks to score more points!

Another similar product we got to test out was the WonderWoof, which calls itself “the world’s first fashion-forward dog activity monitor”. It certainly looks good, right down to the super cute packaging it comes in. This device also pairs with a mobile app and breaks your dog’s daily activities into categories like sleeping, walking, and playing. As an added bonus, you can also meet other dog lovers in your area with the map-enabled social feature. The WonderWoof is a bit bigger than the FitBark so it might not be great for really small dogs, but I think my big man looks perfectly dashing with this pink bow-tie shaped device attached to his collar (it also comes in other colours if pink isn’t your thing).

The other product we got is the TrackR Bravo, which I’m most excited about. It’s a little coin-sized disc that attaches to your dog’s collar (or anything else you want to keep track of). The TrackR Bravo is a little GPS unit that lets you find lost items on a map, gives you separation alerts if you get too far away from it, and also let’s you ring your phone even if it’s on silent! I know I’m certainly going to get a lot of use out that feature.

I also love the extra peace of mind it will give me, because despite being glued to my side most of the time, Tucker’s been known to be a bit of an escape artist. I once spent a very scary night running around my neighbourhood during a thunderstorm trying to find him, but now with the TrackR Bravo I know that even if he does somehow get away from me, I’ll be able to find him. This makes me feel so much more confident in taking him to off-leash dog parks, or crowded places like the upcoming Woofstock.

See you at Woofstock!

If you’re heading to Woofstock this weekend and are interested in picking up any of these products for your pup, make sure to stop by the Best Buy booth. This outdoor dog festival is happening at Woodbine Park. If you see a big black dog with a shiny pink bow-tie, make sure to say hi!

We are also giving away a $50 Best Buy Gift Card!!!

Comment below and tell us something fun about your pup! We will select one winner on Tuesday, May 28 at 11pm EST and you will receive a $50 gift card for BestBuy. Don't forget to include your email or Twitter handle so we can contact you. Good luck!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Review: Whitney English Day Designer

By: Lisa Ng
I'm a paper planner sort of person.
I've been eyeing Whitney English's Day Designer for a long time, but couldn't bring myself to drop the $60 it costs for this giant day planner. After purchasing her more affordable and smaller Target version for $16, I knew I was ready to make the upgrade. 
I am SO glad that I did. First off, the Target version was just a little too small. It was great for slipping into my backpack, carry-on or purse - but there wasn't enough room for me to really create a proper to-do list and schedule.

The original Day Designer I bought directly from Whitney English's site is much bigger and thicker. Hence the heftier price point. I think it's worth every penny. I use my day planner every single day and I've loved the layout of the Day Designer the most.
The daily calendar is broken down by hour, which is great for planning out your time. One day gets one full page, so there's tons of room to jot things down. Yes, it's heavy and pretty giant - but I'll rarely be taking this thing with me.
I work from home and plan on leaving my day planner at home and using it when I'm sitting at my desk. On the rare occasion that I'm going away, I'll transpose a few things into my electronic calendar but that's it. I'm not planning on bringing this on vacation with me.
Overall, I'm super happy with my purchase and I love all the different cover designs that came out this season. My day designer also included a few fun stickers and came in a beautiful box. It's a great gift idea for a new grad as well.
See the full collection online at Day Designer.

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay 




The CBC Music Festival

By: Lisa Ng

One of my favourite events is back in Toronto THIS coming Saturday. I was lucky to attend the year Of Monsters & Men and Sam Roberts headlined this local fest.

The CBC Music Festival will be taking place on Saturday May 28th at TD Echo Beach (near the Molson Amphitheatre at Ontario Place). Look for local food trucks, art, a kids zone and a flea market as well! General admission tickets are only $39.50 and kids under 12 are free.

For more information about the festival and onsite activities, please visit cbcmusic.ca/festival and follow along on social media with #CBCMusicFest.

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay 


Aroma Free Smoothie Day

By Wendy Kam Marcy

To celebrate its #KeepIt100 campaign, aroma espresso bar will be giving away 100% Real Fruit Smoothies on Wednesday, May 25 from 2-6pm at all 35 locations across the GTA and Southern & Western Ontario. Slurp slurp!

If you haven't tried one yet, here is your chance. I assure you that you'll keep coming back for more! They have 4 flavours: Mango, Mixed Berry, Mixed Berry + Beet, and Mango + Kale <-- Which is my favourite!

Also have you tried their boozy brunch menu yet?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dyson: The Mightly Little Vaccum That Could...

By Wendy Kam Marcy

I'm a neat freak and when you have a rambunctious toddler turning your condo upside down, cleaning becomes a major sporting event in our household!

Luckily Dyson Small Ball comes to our rescue! Known as the "ferrari of vacuums", the price tag that comes with this bad boy is $550... yikes is it really worth the splurge?!

You may remember that my little family was featured in Toronto Life's "Condo Generation" two summers ago. Well we are still here - making our 1000 sqft work. So s-p-a-c-e, any space is very valuable.

When we bring things home we always ask two questions: does it have a minimal design and does it have frequent utility? It's all about quality over quantity when you are crunched for real estate!

Not only does the Dyson Small Ball devour everything in its path, it is light weight and maneuvers so effortlessly that my 2 year old thinks vacuuming is a fun game! He giggles as he catches dust bunnies in the tight nooks and crannies and races around the furniture like an obstacle course. And there is NO tipping which I've always had to deal with with other light weight upright vacs.

Noise is minimum so no worries if you are into late night cleaning because you won't disturb your neighbours. The ball replaces your typical wheels found on other vacuums. And I really appreciate that the cleaner head automatically adjusts between hardwood floors and carpets. Cleaning is a simple push of a button and the dirt from the canister gets release (no bags needed)! I rinse and air dry the filter once a month.

The retractable wand saves up to 50% storage space which is key for condo dwellers and minimalists. Initially it sat in a corner in my hall closet but I found that I used it so much, I now keep it handy in my bathroom. With it's pretty signature purple, red and grey combo, I really don't mind having it out in the open either!

One word of caution... be very careful because the suction is THAT great! Before you rev up the engine, you should double check that everything on your floor is safe to vacuum (so pick up those socks and loose change). I had a friend tell me that her Dyson sucked up a piece of wallpaper right off her wall!

I use the Dyson Small Ball every other day. I also own the V6+ cordless handheld stick vac ($500) which I use multiple times a day for quickie cleanups.

I still cringe when my little man "makes messy" (he's in a peanut eating phase so I'm finding shells in the most random places!) but this little yet mighty vacuum totally lives up to the Dyson name and has made my cleaning job that much easier and bearable.

The verdict: pay the $550! It's an excellent addition to families living in the city. Make that investment to always have a dust-free and sparkly clean home.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Toronto Food Tours

By: Lisa Ng

The weather is finally getting nice, which means it's a great time to get out and explore your city! What's the best way to do this? Through food of course! Toronto is known for all the different types of food, reflecting all of the diverse cultures that make up our fair city.

A food tour is a great way to get to know a neighbourhood and to learn knowledgable tidbits from your local guide. Here is a round-up of some great food tours to check out!

The Culinary Adventure Co.

Experience the best of each neighbourhood with localize food tours that feature the best eats in a specific section of Toronto. Also look at the canoe + dining tours too!

Savour Toronto

Multiple tour options happening daily all over the city. I'm definitely interested in their Kensington Market Crawl! 

Foodies on Foot

Picnic in the Park is where you walk through a neighbourhood picking up picnic provisions along the way and finish with a picnic in the park. Love this idea.

A Taste of the World

Shirley Lum is the go-to for Chinatown history and dim sum knowledge. Sign-up for one of her incredible Chinatown tours or Chinese banquet dinners!



Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay 



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Giant Pandas at the Zoo!

By: Lisa Ng

Love pandas?

Two giant pandas - Er Shun and Da Mao are hanging out right now at The Toronto Zoo. The female panda, Er Shun, gave birth to twins in the fall of 2015. The cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, are now bigger and stronger and are available for visits from 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM daily.

They spend their days eating bamboo and playing. There's also a Giant Panda Interpretive Centre to learn more about these creatures as part of the exhibit.

To learn more visit: www.TorontoZoo.com 


Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Get Outside & Play!

By Wendy Kam Marcy

While spring continues to tease us, the sun is shining and it's time to give Netflix a break so come out to shop, dine + play at these local events!

TD Echo Beach Spring Market
Saturday, May 21

Hang out and catch local buskers, while shopping for vintage treasures and fuelling yourself with treats from food trucks.

Springlicious
Weekend May 27-29

Make the trek out to Niagara Falls for this 10th annual event. There will be live bands, a magical midway and artisan + food vendors. It's family fun for everyone!

Netflix and Chill
Saturday, May 28

If you still can't pull yourself away from the tube, Toronto Movie Festival invites you to this free event full of vendors, food, drinks and an all time favourite movie determined by the people of T dot! BYOB (bring your own blanket).

#devTO5K
Sunday, May 29

Hey developers, designers, digital marketers and all in between... let's unplug, promote physical activity and celebrate 5 years of #DevTO at their first run/walk in downtown Toronto.

Great Gulf Doors Open
Weekend May 28-29

Explore the city on foot and get rare access to more than 130 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings.

Woman to Woman: Charity Lunch in the Garden
Tuesday, May 31

Get out your hats and fascinators and enjoy fabulous food and delectable desserts within the festive atmosphere and beauty of the Toronto Botanical Garden.

The Yoga Gym
Mondays May - June

Get your downward dog on at High Park for free yoga taught by Kirsten Gietz of Branch Yoga. Start the week with a healthy mind and body!

Artisan Waterfront Market
May - October

Not just any market but a new open-air artisan market opens up at the Waterfront for 6 weekends this summer and fall. Shop and sample food from the finest chefs, designers, artisans in the 6ix.

Toronto Flower Market
May - October

Stop and smell the flowers at this beautiful market! Tulips, daffodils, gerbera, hyacinth, muscari + lilacs are all in season and ready to be purchased at Shaw Park in Queen West.

Photo credit: Toronto Flower Market

Etsy Street Team Midsummer Market
Saturday, June 18

Crafts, workshops, tutorials, snacks and more. C'mon down to the Campbell House Museum and meet the team while shopping for wonderful wares!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Babylicious Foodie Event

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Exploring Toronto's foodie scene is one of my favourite things to do with my little man. There is definitely no shortage of fine dining and delicious festivals to hit up while growing up in the 6ix!

We can't wait for Babylicious happening May 5 to 15! Embrace Toronto’s culinary scene through delicious prix fixe menus, while your babe is pampered with a complimentary organic meal, courtesy of PC® Organics Baby Food.

I'll be booking date night at Tabule and Cluny. Other participating restaurants include Cibo, Gusto, Boehmer and more!