Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Booby Ball Toronto 2016

By: Lisa Ng

One of our favourite charity events - Booby Ball is back and celebrating its 15th year in support of Rethink Breast Cancer. The Toronto event will be held on October 16th, 2016 and tickets are now available at www.boobyball.com.

"To date, Boobyball has raised almost $4 million dollars to educate, empower and support young people worldwide who are concerned about and affected by breast cancer" says MJ DeCoteau, Executive Director of Rethink Breast Cancer. 

This year's party will feature a jungle-themed event will lots of beats and tiki treats while raising funds for a great cause. For more details and to purchase tickets visit www.boobyball.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 


Thursday, August 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)! Choosing to raise our family in downtown King West, I know all about maximizing small spaces. If you recall Toronto Life's cover story 2 summers ago, that was my little family featured in an article called "Condo Generation".

When it comes to furniture shopping, the experience can be overwhelming and frustrating - not to mention, the huge dent it puts in your wallet. So here's my updated list of 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. We eagerly await for their showroom to open this September 2016 at Designers Walk but for now, you can shop online. $$$

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! $$$

Modern Sensibility: find your stylish condo furnishings here without paying an arm and leg. They don't sacrifice on quality and are proudly Canadian owned. Lots of double-duty furniture and sale items too! $$

Urbanmode: 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. $$

CB2: a modern destination from Crate and Barrel that will furnish every room in your modern apartment, loft or home without too much denting in your wallet. Conveniently located in condo land on the corner of Queen West & Bathurst. $$

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Camp Tech Birthday Sale

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Happy Birthday 4.0 Camp Tech!!

To celebrate, 10 tickets for each workshop will be on sale for 50% off for ONE DAY ONLY (or until they disappear - whichever happens first). The fun starts on Friday at 9am. No promo code needed.

See the schedule and description of the Camp Tech workshops and load up your basket with the ones you want before they are gone.

Learn Google Adwords & Analytics, WordPress, Photoshop, HTML, Mail Chimp, Social Media, SEO and of course, Blogging and Content Marketing (taught by yours truly)!

Also check out our interview with Tara Wilkins, Camp Tech's Admin Manager and our HUG of the Month!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sweetery Toronto 2016

By: Lisa Ng

Got a crazy sweet tooth? 

Mark your calendars for THIS coming weekend for Sweetery Toronto. It's a sweets-only festival happening on August 20th + 21st. The festival is partnering up local chefs through 
George Brown College's Chef School. 

Admission is free and runs from 11 AM - 11 PM on Saturday and 11 AM - 9 PM on Sunday. Sweetery will be located in the beautful David Peacaut Square in the heart of the city.

What can you expect? There will be sweet food vendors, pastry chefs from George Brown, charity challenges and all sorts of sweet things to try!

Second Harvest is the community sponsor this year with all proceeds from the activities on site to be donated to this amazing food rescue non-profit organization.

To learn more visit Sweetery online.

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 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Let's Go To The Ex 2016!

By Wendy Kam Marcy

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) or The Ex opens August 19 to September 5 - a bittersweet reminder that summer is officially coming to an end.

My parents brought me in a bassinet when I was a wee little baby (2 months old!) and it's been my favourite family tradition that I'm now carrying on with my son. I'm particularly excited this year because he is two and a half and over 3ft tall which means he can start going on some of the midway rides!

And of course there is all the wacky carnival food!

The menu will be revealed on August 18 but based on last year's offerings, we can likely expect favourites like the cake poutine and deep fried red velvet oreo cookies chased down with Fran's coffee doughnut milkshake. And obviously, Bacon will be slathered on everything, from funnel cakes to Bacon Nations' bacon wrapped grill cheese and Krispy Kreme infamous burgers... did anyone actually try one of these?!

What are you looking forward to the most at CNE this year?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Summer Photo Diary

By: Lisa Ng

I can't believe July has flown back and we're actually in August!

It's been a whirlwind summer and I've been trying to make the most of every weekend because the weather is so beautiful right now here in Portland. I know a rainy winter is right around the corner so I'm hoping to do as many outdoor things as humanly possible.

First up! Paul and I hit up Smith Rock and went on a camping trip where we set-up our tent on the edge of a cliff overlooking a gorgeous canyone and river. It is the most beautiful campsite I have ever had. BINGO got his own sleeping bag and enjoyed it too.

I also finally made it to Ken's Artisan Pizza for some of the best pizza I've had in my life. The pizza dough is just perfection. Ken has a bunch of cookbooks and is known for his bread and eventually branched out to pizza.

Next up this summer - bangs again! After finally giving up and growing out my bangs, I caved and got them again. I just can't make up my mind with this one. I love the look of bangs, but I hate styling them - especially during the hot summer months.

Lastly, dining room refresh! I spent some time this month styling up my dining room, moving a ladder I bought off etsy from the living room. I added a plant, these hurricane lanterns from Anthropologie and this lamp from Target.

We live in a pretty big loft style condo now, but I'm really hesitant to buy more furniture for it in case we move into a smaller space. But overall, it's beginning to feel cozy here.

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, August 4, 2016

Philips SatinShave Prestige Review + Giveaway

This is a sponsored post.

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Electric shavers sound mighty convenient but they also make me nervous! The thought of buzzing blades across my skin is quite intimidating but so is the battle against body hair.

But it's summer and I'm a shorts and skirts kinda girl so the hair has got to go!

Luckily Philips recently sent me their new SatinShave Prestige - a feminine pastel pink and white electric shaver that looks pretty harmless.

I tested it out for three weeks before writing this review and here are 4 reasons why I won't go back to regular razors or disposables...

1) The SatinShave eliminates rashes, razor burns and all that unattractive stuff

You can use the SatinShave every day but for me, twice a week was enough to combat unwanted body hair. Hold your skin taunt, RELAX and let it do it's work (you can actually hear the hairs chopping away so no need to apply extra pressure). The job was done just as fast as shaving with my regular razor minus any irritations.

2) Wet or dry - your choice!

You can easily use this shaver in the shower (with or without shaving gel) but I prefer to use it on dry skin (which was a pleasant surprise) since it offered a closer shave. As a busy mom, dry shaving really comes in handy during those in-between days when I need a quick touchup or when I'm traveling, it's so convenient to be able to shave on the go wherever I am.

3) Bless that bikini trimmer!

Pop on the specially designed trimmer head and I was able to get up close and personal with my lady bits without the nicks and bumps.

4) Save time & money - who doesn't want to do that right?

Replace the foils and cutters once a year and clean them once monthly for maximum shaver performance. While disposables and blades may only cost a few bucks each, do the math and you'll see how fast that adds up over the year!

Curious about electric shavers? We have one of these beauties to give away to a lucky winner!

Tweet "I want to stay smooth this summer with @hipurbangirl and @philips SatinShave! http://www.hipurbangirl.com/2016/08/philips-satinshave-prestige-review.html." Contest ends Sunday, August 14 at noon EST.

The Philips SatinShave Prestige is available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart for $89.99 and comes with 5 accessories plus storage bag.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer Fun On Ward's Island

By Wendy Kam Marcy

I've been spending my weekends here and loving every minute of it! For those of us who don't have cottages, Ward's Island is your speediest summer getaway - just a 10 mins ferry ride ($7.50 round trip) or water tiki taxi ($10 one way) from downtown TO.

While your buddies are stuck in gridlock traffic heading up north, send them an Instagram of you relaxing in one of these cute B&B's.

The Island Cafe on Ward's Island hosts live music, trivia nights and special events all summer. There is also a Long Weekend Arts Festival and a Labour Day weekend Brunch en Blanc lunch.

All Island Cafe concerts are pay-what-you-can, so bring a blanket and some cash and enjoy an evening under the stars.

Make it a day trip! Grab your sunscreen because there is a pretty sweet beach here with a nice long boardwalk (for biking). Soak up the sun as you leisurely glide across the water on a paddle board, canoe or kayak. Love scavenger hunts? Try geocaching! There is even a frisbee disc golf course if you are feeling competitive. Enjoy a garden dinner at The Rectory Cafe and order the pulled tofu sandwich and char grilled calamari. On Tuesdays 5-7pm, drop by the Kale Pilot Project for some free organic kale!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer Camping Guide

By: Lisa Ng

Sure, it's almost the end of July - but there's still LOTS of time to go camping!

After taking oh...about a TEN year hiatus from camping, I've finally re-embraced it after living in Oregon for just 2 weeks. There are just so many things to see and do here and being active and being outdoors is just part of the lifestyle.

So here's what I recommend for your next camping trip:

1) A GREAT Playlist

Get the campfire tunes going with a great playlist. I love chilling out at the end of the night next to the warm glow of a campfire, some great music and a cold drink. Make your own playlist on Spotify or listen to my mix - perfect for Campfires + Roadtrips.

2) Stylish Camping Gear

Since I was starting from scratch, I got to invest in all new camping gear this year - so I wanted stuff that looked fun and stylish while practical and functional. Here's a round-up of my cute + stylish camping gear!

3) Gourmet Camping Eats

One of my favourite parts of camping is getting creative with the menu. I like to cook things that don't require a lot of ingredients, can keep well in a cooler and that I can prep ahead of time. I need to be able to cook it over the fire or in the small frying pan and single burner camping stove we bring with us. Here's what I ate last time I went camping.

4) Glamping is OK Too!

If camping is too big a step for you and you don't want to invest into all that gear. Consider clamping! Here are a few of my favourite glamping spots. I credit glamping for helping transition and open me up to the idea of camping.

5) Dealing With The Bugs

One of the biggest reasons I avoided camping and most outdoor activites are because of the bugs! I'm allergic to mosquito bites and my whole body will blow out after just one tiny bite. It totally sucks. So I always arm myself with this citronella candle, natural bug spray and these bug off bands (they work!).

Are you planning a camping trip this summer? What do you usually do to prep?

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 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

HUG of the Month: Tara Wilkins

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Tara and I met over 3 years ago when she introduced me to Camp Tech and we featured Founder, Avery Swartz on our blog. She was a volunteer transiting from fashion to the tech + marketing world. Fast forward to now, where we both teach workshops and she is the full time Admin Manager. Say hello to Tara... the girl with the big smile and bold red hair!

1) What is a typical day in the life of Tara Wilkins?

My day starts and ends with my kitties (#catladyforever)! I wake up and feed my meowing kitties, get ready for work and bike over to the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) where Camp Tech’s head office is located. I pour myself a mug of coffee, read some Medium blog posts then start my work day. I’ll spend my time on digital marketing and sales activities, coordinating workshops and exchanging funny gifs on our Camp Tech Slack channel. Usually I log off around 5pm. In the evenings I’m usually biking somewhere with my partner, playing with my kitties (aka socializing my foster cat) or plugging in to Netflix. I just finished watching Stranger Things - it was incredible.

2) What's up with the cat fetish and cool hair colours?! It's now red and last year it was green!

Ha! My family has had cats since I was very young. I don’t have any memories in my childhood where we didn’t have a cat. Cat behaviour fascinates me. I’m also a volunteer junkie, so I signed up to volunteer with Annex Cat Rescue in 2009 to combine those 2 passions. That’s when I reached my official cat lady status. Since then, I’ve been socializing and fostering semi-feral cats so they can find forever homes.

As for the hair, I love playing with hair colours and makeup. I don’t think I’ll ever keep the same colour for more than a year - but who knows. Red is really fun.

3) Tell us about Camp Tech. That is where all the cool kids hangout right?

One of my favourite descriptions of Camp Tech comes from Jesse Brown of the Canadaland podcast... “Camp Tech provides workshops for grownups who want to learn how to do computers better.” I love it. He nailed it. Camp Tech doesn’t run super technical coding classes that are weeks or months long. Workshops are either 3 or 6 hours and you learn practical stuff you can use right away about topics like Google Analytics, Blogging or Podcasting. All topics are beginner-friendly. You don’t need to have any technical skills to attend.