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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kinimi: Little Black Dress on a Big Mission

If your calendar is like the average hip urban girl, it's no doubt that your little black dresses will work overtime during the holidays. With a staple that gets this much mileage, wouldn't  it be nice to flaunt a piece that feels as fabulous to invest in as it looks on your figure? Loosely designed as a modern kimono style wrap dress, Kinimi offers an elevated and ethical take on the little black dress through collaborating with women's cooperatives from around the world to preserve traditional artisan craftsmanship and create beautiful, timeless pieces using sustainably-sourced materials. I had the pleasure of chatting with Kinimi co-founder, Nicole Goldberger, to learn more about this little black dress on big mission to empower women around the world by providing sustainable employment and fair wages.

Q: What inspired you to launch Kinimi?
A: I have always had a passion for travelling off the beaten track. During trips to Uganda, Cambodia and Morocco I encountered truly incredible women artisans who were creating handwoven handicrafts but they did not realize the value in their work. One afternoon my co-founder and I were discussing our love of travel, artisan crafts and the desire to help others and the idea for Kinimi was formed. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Toyota’s Wishmaker Holiday Calendar!

A sponsored hip + urban girl post.

By: Lisa Ng

As much as the holidays are about celebrations and gift giving, for me – they are also about giving back. Especially to those who are less fortunate this Christmas.

The Ontario Toyota Dealers Association is going to make a few wishes come true this year. 24 wishes to be exact! From December 1st to December 24th, our friends at Toyota will be hosting a giant holiday calendar of giving – which we can definitely get on board with. Every day in the month of December, Toyota will be revealing a wish that will be fulfilled behind the door of a giant 50-foot tall calendar. It’s even better than chocolate!

The wish could be a charity, a family in need, or a special service or delivery that needs fulfilling in your community. Do you know someone who needs help with a wish this holiday season? We need your nominations of deserving Ontario residents! You can submit them via and Toyota will choose wishes to fulfill from these nominations. Feel free to include photos and videos as part of your submission.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Seasons Christmas Show

By: Lisa Ng

The Seasons Christmas Show is BACK in Mississauga this weekend for their 10th anniversary showcase of holiday decorating, entertaining and unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list.

Specialty sections Savour the Flavours and Fashion Finds are the perfect place to find edible gifts and gifts for the fashionista on your list. 300+ exhibitors will be showcasing at this year's Seasons Christmas Show. The event runs at The International Centre from November 21 to 23, 2014. Santa will also be appearing every day and will be available for holiday photos.

Show Hours:

Friday November 21 10 AM - 8 PM
Saturday November 22 10 AM - 6 PM
Sunday November 23 10 AM - 5 PM


The International Centre - Hall 5 - Arrow Hall, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON L4V 1E8


Adults $15.00
Seniors (65+) & Youth (13-17) $13.00
12 & under free.
2 for 1 adult admission is available after 5 pm on Friday, November 22; at the door only
Buy tickets on-line for a $2.00 discount on regular adult admission,

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

Toronto Young Designers

By: Lisa Ng

The Toronto Young Designers will be hosting their 5th annual sale featuring local vendors on December 13th at Church of St-Stephens in the Field (103 Bellevue Ave) from 11 AM to 5 PM. It's a great chance to shop small and to shop local!

Pick-up one-of-a-kind homemade treasures for everyone on your gift list. Look for paper goods, tote bags, baby gifts, candles, jewellery, handmade cards, natural beauty products and more! I am in love with the cute baby bibs made by friend Monica Da Rosa at Ele and Ela.

Cash is preferred by the small vendors, but most of them do accept square and online payments. 

Happy shopping!

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

EVENT: Question Period

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Mother Nature Partnership presents its second Question Period trivia night on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at The Drake Underground (1150 Queen Street West) for $15, hosted by Orphan Black’s Kristian Bruun and The Animal Project’s Hannah Cheesman.

With a range of general knowledge and period related questions, teams of four will compete against each other during three rounds of 10 trivia questions. Prizes will be awarded to teams with the most correct answers and the best name.

Tickets can be purchased HERE!

Monday, November 17, 2014

We Pay-It-Forward With Amex

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Toronto is truly a foodie heaven. I live in King West and there are easily over 100 restaurants a hop, skip and jump away from my doorstep. So when it comes to deciding where to dine out, customer service plays a key part in my decision making.

Did you know...

"Canadian consumer attitudes on where they conduct business are heavily impacted by customer service. Not only are they willing to pay a significant amount (12%) more for good service, many of them (57%) have also made decisions NOT to conduct business with a company due to poor service experiences."

As a brand dedicated to providing premium service to its Cardmembers every day, Amex recognizes the impact great service has on its customers. For over 160 years, American Express has worked to create a brand in Canada that offers unparalleled service and experiences in an authentic and meaningful way.

Click infographic to enlarge

My latest task as an Amex Ambassador was to "pay-it-forward" by honouring someone who has provided exemplary service this year.

Meet Erin Hill! She is a server at one of my favourite restaurants that offer an expansive menu of organic and healthy comfort food. It's not your typical fancy schmancy upscale place but Erin consistently delivers five-star service!

She is sincere and we always feel like we can take our time to leisurely enjoy our meal. I also really appreciate that she anticipates our needs (fills our water glasses, clears dishes away, etc. without us asking) but knows not to interrupt if it looks like we're engaged in our conversation. Plus she always remembers to bring extra hot sauce (hubby likes it spicy)!

I love dining at an establishment that we can rely on for stellar service. Being an Amex cardholder and ambassador for the past 3 years, I've come to really appreciate first class service - which Erin continuously delivers.

The focus then is on your company and the delicious food rather than dealing with incompetent or awkward staff. Geoff and I come here often for this reason and we leave satisfied with happy bellies. I always recommend this place to my vegetarian friends and those with babies/kids (they are stroller-friendly!).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

EVENT: 12 Trees

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Toronto’s favourite neighbourhoods come to life in this year’s edition of 12 Trees, a holiday exhibition where one-of-a-kind Christmas trees glitter throughout the galleries.

12 teams of the city’s top designers (including Steven & Chris, Hilary Farr, Pink Tartan, Holt Renfrew, Teatro Verde, etc.) take favourite neighbourhoods as their muse, reinventing Christmas with a Toronto spin. See designer versions of Leslieville, Chinatown, Mirvish Village, Greektown, and more!

12 Trees: The Toronto Edition runs from November 12 to December 14, 2014 at the Gardiner Museum.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gear Up For Winter With Eleven Elfs

By Wendy Kam Marcy

This week I finally gave in and cranked up the heat in my condo. Winter is coming. Yes, that first snowfall is a bummer but let's look on the bright side... it's the season of candy cane lattes, holiday parties, skiing and an excuse to shop for a new winter coat!

Of course, there are the usual suspects: the goose, the moose and the deer. But if you are looking for something that stands out from the rest, yet can still confidently combat any polar vortex, check out Eleven Elfs. The newest brand of premium winter gear to enter the Canadian market.

Inspired by "The Neverending Story", these jackets are designed by Manuel Luciano who's motivation is to take the outdoor adventurer into a fantasical journey into winter wonderland.

Aside from the fun colour blocking and sleek feminine design, here's 5 things that make this coat unique:

1) It's machine washable. Cleaning is as easy as tossing in the garment ball (each coat comes with one) into your washer & dryer and running it through the delicate cycle. That's an extra $75 I'll be saving since I won't need to take my Goose to the dry cleaners to get fluffed this year!

2) This coat is noticeably lighter in weight but still just as cozy with 700 fill power of high quality down. Think of it as wrapping yourself up in a fluffy cloud.

3) Pockets and more pockets! There are 5 pockets (3 on the outside, 2 on the inside) to conveniently store your keys, phone and lipgloss for fast and easy access.

4) There is nothing worst than freezing outside only to come indoors and break out in a huge sweat. The breathable material used in these coats ensures you can still move freely and don't have to worry about taking it off and lugging it around crowded shopping malls.

5) One too many beautiful colours to choose from! I wanted them all but I finally decided on the Ice Age Down Coat in Greige & Angora. I love the colour because it's stylishly practical. It goes equally well with jeans or a dressy outfit... plus it won't get lost in the sea of black in coat checks!

Eleven Efls is available in select boutique shops including Your Choice in Bayview Village, Echo Trends in Collingwood and Popcorn 2 in Thornhill. Jackets start at $695. Click here to see the full fall/winter collection.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wanna Be A Blogger? Attend Spark Sesssions!

From the outside looking in, the life of a fashion and beauty blogger might seem glamorous but the brains behind all that beautiful (our editors-in-chief included) will tell you that there's a lot more than glitter and gorgeous photos to creating a reputable blog and an engaging online presence.

If you've ever considered creating your own little slice of heaven in the blogosphere or are currently working your way to becoming a well-known and established domain you'll want to drop everything this weekend and attend Spark Sessions, Canada’s first fashion and beauty blogger conference.
The two day conference returns for its 2nd year this weekend, Saturday, November 15th and Sunday, November 16th at District 28, 28 Logan Avenue, downtown Toronto. Attendees can expect top-notch teaching, insights and networking opportunities with a vast array of high quality online media, blogging and PR experts including:

Cheryl Hickey – Host, Entertainment Tonight Canada
Vanessa Craft – Beauty Director, Elle Canada
Sara Koonar – Editor-in-Chief of 29 Secrets
Sabrina Maddeaux – Fashion Editor for NOW Magazine
Kat Peterson – Vice President, Digital, for eLuxe
Lena Almeida – Founder of the popular Canadian blog, Listen to Lena

To attend, register for conference passes online at

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jessica Jensen Holiday Pop-up!

By: Lisa Ng

Looking for a couple cute gifts? 

Get an early shop on at the Jessica Jensen Collection Holiday Pop-up Shop happening for the next month at 35 Mowat Avenue. Pick up a handbag for your mom or a few small leather stocking stuffers for your sister or your besties.

The store is only open Wednesday to Sunday and you have to get there before 6 pm. 

Happy shopping!

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