Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Thank You from The Hip + Urban Girl's Guide!

2017 is definitely going to be a year full of changes! We were recently discussing whether we would redesign our site or branch out into different projects.

We decided that after six fun and exciting years, this would be the best time to put a bookend on our chapter as The Hip + Urban Girl's Guide. But we will still be keeping our social media channels!

We want to thank all the amazing readers, guest bloggers, sponsors, brands and PR companies that supported us through all the years. We couldn't have done this without you! 

Lisa will continue blogging about food, travel + lifestyle over on This Beautiful Day. "After a big move to LA and then to Portland, Oregon - I wanted to expand my content beyond my own city and reach women all across Canada and the US. From there, This Beautiful Day was born! I look forward to bringing you more recipes, travel guides and lifestyle ideas."  Follow her adventures on Twitter @helloLisaNg, Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay + Facebook.

Wendy has launched CityRefinery. "I've grown so much over the years and I'm a Mom now so inevitably my content has evolved and my brand has changed. This year is going to be full of surprises to share! My new site is filled with stories of the things I love, inspiration + organized chaos. Less censored. More lattes + grit. More refined." Follow @wendykammarcy on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

It’s the end of an era and the beginning of another epic one!

Xo Lisa + Wendy

Monday, December 5, 2016

Urban Eats: Luckee Restaurant

By Wendy Kam Marcy


I’m really excited to share that Luckee, Susur Lee’s Asian tapas restaurant is now open weekdays from 12 to 2pm (except Mondays).

This is a great addition for King West’s power lunch crowd. I know for myself I’m always looking for a place to take clients that will impress on all levels from service to food to atmosphere.

It's also going to be my new lunch date spot with hubby when we can snag those precious few hours in the afternoon while our little one is in Montessori School.


We were recently invited to indulge in Luckee's new lunch menu. Here’s what we had and highly recommend…

Alert: food porn coming up!

Cheung Fun

These soft rice rolls wrapped around a crispy Chinese donut are called Cheung Fun. They are filled  with either shrimp, chicken, lobster or mixed vegetables. Sprinkle shallots and scallions on top, drizzle on the soy sauce and you’ve got a mouthful bursting with delicious flavours and texture.

Taro Cakes

The Teahouse Turnip Cake is an authentic dim sum dish made with sweet potato, green onion and shallots. Susur takes this classic and puts an extra fancy twists to it by adding taro rosti.


Indecisive? Order the Luckee Dim Sum Basket and sample 4 of the chef’s signature steamed dumplings.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Furniture For Your Condo

By Wendy Kam Marcy

I posted this list in 2010 when I bought my first condo... now I'm on condo number three (and married with a rambunctious toddler)!

Here's my list of 20 places (beyond Ikea!) that I found during my own quest to seek out stylish furniture that is of good quality, design and reasonably priced. Happy Shopping!

KROFT+CO: designs and makes beautiful handcrafted furniture right here in Toronto. Condo dwellers and small home owners will especially appreciation their collection of bedroom, dining and living room furniture with clean lines and modern finishes. They also meticulously customize pieces. Get 10% off here. $$$

Design Republic: my fave store because how can you not love a place where their mantra is “Furniture for the People”? Whether you are searching for the edgiest modern sofa, design classics or industrial and vintage pieces, you can find it here at their Queen West showroom. Great service and custom solutions available as well. I bought most of my living room furniture here and they made me a cool custom wooden bench! $$$

Urban Mode: a hidden gem and another one of my favourite shops. This place is not very big but it is owned by a couple of very friendly knowledgeable ladies. They do have some condo furniture on display as well as lots of cool decor pieces and the popular Chilewich mats in all sizes and colours. $$

Casper Mattress comes in six sizes starting at $725. Each bed is designed with just the right bounce and sink for outrageously comfortable sleep. They have an excellent trial policy - test it out for 100 days and if you are not having sweet dreams, return it for free. Here's a promo code to snag $65 off your mattress plus free shipping. $$

This post was updated on February 2017 and has moved to a new home! Continue reading on CityRefinery.com...

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Holiday Planning Do's and Don'ts

By Wendy Kam Marcy

It’s holiday party planning season, and we can’t wait to break open the bubbly! Whether you are on the social committee and in charge of organizing your company's shindig or you are just gathering a few of your besties together to spread the holiday cheer, read on... Michelle Garber + Tamara Niyazov, co-owners of Fab Fete, shares their tips on how to throw an unforgettable party.  

Do: Give your party a theme.

A fun theme could be the reason some guests attend, or it might overwhelm your most loyal friends. Choose the right decor, food, maybe even giveaways! Commit to your theme, but don’t expect guests to arrive in an 1800’s Coca-Cola Steampunk polar bear costume, or bring a secret Santa gift with too many rules and expectations.

Do: Book entertainment.

Big or small, a little show never hurt anyone. A singer, dancer or cool acrobat would be what everyone is talking about the next day! Live entertainment a little out of budget? Why not DIY your own holiday themed Cards Against Humanity or paint Jenga blocks to match your theme? Or break out the kid’s bubble machine and add food colouring to the bubble mix! 

Do: Account for every type of guest.

Inclusiveness is important, especially during the most wonderful time of year! Make sure to accommodate every one of your guests by offering mocktails and vegetarian/vegan dishes. Nothing will send people home faster than being hungry or thirsty! Mocktails are especially important for including soon to be moms and designated drivers.

Do: Make sure there is enough to drink.

When the bar runs dry, people run home. Be sure to overstock your bar, but not to open all the bottles. Unopened bottles can be returned to the LCBO with a receipt, saving you money! Hire a bartender - they will manage your bar stock and keep you updated on what is popular. Full service caterers and staffing agencies will also take responsibility for hiring a bartender and will offer bar packages based on your party needs. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

2016 One of a Kind Holiday Show Giveaway

By Wendy Kam Marcy

OOAKS has been a holiday tradition for me for the past few years. I love meeting the artisans, hearing the inspirational stories behind their handmade goods and of course, getting my Christmas shopping done early!

OOAKS is happening November 24 to December 4. It's the largest consumer craft show in North America and we have tickets to giveaway!

Plan a Girls Day Out or book yourself into a free DIY workshops on decorating cookies, creating mandala holiday cards and more.

Tell us what you love about the holidays in the comments below. Don't forget to include your email/Twitter so we can contact the winners. Good Luck!

This contest closes Wed, November 16, 2016 at 11pm EST.

For more information, visit www.oneofakindshow.com and join the conversation with hashtag #OOAKX16.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lunch Date With My Aroma Kid + Contest

By Wendy Kam Marcy

I first discovered Aroma in 2009 during a trip to Tel Aviv and instantly fell in love with their coffee. So you can only imagine how ecstatic I was when they opened one right beside my condo! This was especially timely as I was pregnant. Always hungry and looking for convenient but nutritious food. So right from the get-go, my son was already enjoying yummy Aroma meals in my tummy!

This post has a new home! Visit CityRefinery.com to continue reading...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

2016 Gourmet Food & Wine Expo Ticket Giveaway

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Save the date because the BIGGEST Gourmet Food & Wine Expo is happening November 17-20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Sip and savour your way through international gourmet cuisine, exotic delicacies and of course, the best alcoholic bevies!

This year's highlights include:

  • Taste and learn about the world's best wines at the Tutored Tastings Program.
  • Chef Stage features cooking demos by celebrity guests and talented locals.
  • #TrendCentral Stage presents tastings of cutting-edge wines, beers and spirits.
  • The Spiritology Pavilion showcases the latest from Toronto’s cocktail scene.
  • Sip fine wines alongside industry experts at The Grand Tasting Bar.

We are giving away tickets!

Tell us what your favourite wine, beer or cocktail is and 2 lucky winners will score a pair of tickets to the show! (My fave is Lindeman Framboise/Raspberry Beer.) Giveaway ends Friday, November 4 at 11pm EST.

You can also buy tickets here and use promo code GOURMET16 to save $5.00.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

3 Thanksgiving Recipes To Try + A Wine Pairing

By: Lisa Ng

It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend!

I'm super excited about it and I have ordered a smoked turkey online that's supposed to arrive here via FedEx today. So my turkey is coming fully-cooked, but I still have to prepare a lot of the sides.

Here are three Thanksgiving recipes that I swear by + a wine pairing idea from a local fruit winery in Muskoka, Ontario. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

1) Healthy Gourmet Green Beans

My take on green beans without all the creamy sauce. This recipe uses fresh mandarin slices, chopped up dates and slivered almonds all tossed in a yummy homemade dressing.

2) Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Never open a weird gelatin can of 99 cents cranberry sauce again! My homemade cranberry sauce recipe uses a bag of fresh cranberries, sugar and orange zest.

3) Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

I like having something green with every meal and this Brussels Sprouts Recipe with maple and crispy bacon are what dreams are made of. To save time, buy a bag of washed and ready-to-use Brussels.

Wine Pairing

I love a nice crisp glass of Chardonnay to go with my turkey, but if you're looking for something different - Muskoka Lakes Winery does a really great fruit wine. This Cranberry Wine is made with local Ontario cranberries and is perfectly sweet and tart at the same time. Just think of all the antioxidants! You can find them in the LCBO.

Have a great long weekend :)  What are you doing to celebrate? Share with me on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay and let me know what you'll be up to!

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 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Fall Looks For Less

This is a sponsored post.

By Wendy Kam Marcy

I had a fantastic summer but I'm equally excited that fall has arrived. Maybe it's because Halloween (my favourite holiday!) is around the corner and the PSL (with soy, please) is back!

Fall also gives me the perfect excuse to cozy up with layers... creating multiple new outfits or, as I always tell people, I get to wear my favourite things together all at once!

Incorporating layers into your fall fashion routine may sound time-consuming and oh so expensive but it doesn't have to be.

Just follow my 4 #FallLooksForLess tips...

1) Don't put away all your summer clothes just yet!

T-shirts, tanks and crop tops (especially those with cool graphics and bold prints) go great under jackets or knits, and adds that additional base layer as the temperature dips.

Sweaters and the George cowl neck button wrap cardigan I’m wearing here are just $25-30 at Walmart!

2) When in doubt, accessorize!

I especially adore this George grey and black mosaic blanket scarf that I scored at Walmart. Not only did it cost $16 but it can be worn in so many different ways - as a huge scarf, draped across the shoulders like a poncho or just hang it from your neck and belt it. This brings any bland outfit to life!

3) Keep it light and tight on the bottom.

A common outfit you will see me in is a collar or flannel shirt over a v-neck tee and then a field jacket thrown on top.

I tend to live in skinny jeans (or jeggings) and classic black leggings in the fall. These staple pieces easily flatter any outfit and won't compete for attention with your pretty layers. Pair the jeans with crisp white sneakers but wear your black leggings with black booties or flats as other coloured shoes will breakup and shorten the look.

You can pick up George short/long sleeve tees in all colours imaginable for $9-10!

4) Sweater dresses are your new best friend.

Sweater dresses are the best! Especially for moms like me. This navy and grey striped one was $24 at Walmart and is so fun and versatile to wear. You instantly look glam even if you are chasing around a toddler with drool over your shoulder! For cooler weather, layer it under a jean or leather jacket, combine a belt with riding boots and you are ready for the office, date night or weekend brunch with your girl squad!

With the endless selection of affordable George fall apparel at Walmart you can take your favourite jeans, long-sleeved tee and add this season’s knit sweater for the complete look. Head to your nearest Walmart and start shopping, and don’t forget to share your #FallLooksForLess style!

This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada as part of the Build a Fall Fashion Look program. In exchange for this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Chef Roadtrip: Pop-Up Dinner at The Eddy, NYC

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Chef Hosea Rosenberg, the winner of Top Chef Season 5 and owner of Blackbelly in Boulder, Colorado, is traveling to NYC to collaborate on a five-course tasting menu with The Eddy's Chef Brendan McHale on Tuesday, October 4.

The menu will highlight seasonal specialties from their respective regions including...

Blackbelly's house-made charcuterie, edible beef tallow candles and seasonal dishes like octopus with 'nduja and fluke with seaweed. Signature cocktails + craft beers from Colorado will also be served.

The Eddy will donate a percentage of proceeds from the dinner to There With Care, a Colorado-based non-profit organization, as a thank you to Chef Rosenberg and Chef McHale for making the trip out east.

Reserve your seat on Resy! Also read our restaurant review of The Eddy here.