Category Archives: Out and About

Clean Sweep

What is it about doing a major closet clean up that leaves you feeling so in control and calm? When my closet is in order I feel like my life is more in order. All the unnecessary junk is removed, and everything else is organized to be easily found.

Spring is just over a month away and those thoughts of Spring Cleaning are sure to come out soon. This year the Hip & Urban Girls’ Guide is giving you a great reason to get that closet in order and part ways with those items that are too big/small or haven’t been worn in months. On February 27th they’re hosting a Spring Cleaning Fashion Swap to support Nellie’s Women’s Shelter and Dress for Success.  Here are the details:

  • Date: Monday, February 27
  • Time: 6-9pm
  • Venue: Rent Frock Repeat Showroom 35 Golden Avenue #102
  • Cost: $5, with proceeds donated to Nellie’s Women’s Shelter.
  • Preview RFR’s new 2012 spring collection
  • Enjoy complimentary treats, beverages, style consultations and a $150 door prize from La Roche-Posay

Clothing Swap Rules:

  1. Bring along minimum of 5 items, maximum of 10. Accessories are welcome but no shoes, please!
  2. Clothing should be in good condition – nothing badly worn, torn or stained.
  3. Bring your clothes on hangers if possible – once you arrive, arrange your items by category. We’ll have tables, racks and fitting rooms available.
  4. Swap! Go home with the number of items you came with.
  5. All remaining items will be donated to charity.

You can purchase your $5 Donation Ticket here.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

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Hip + Urban Girl Guide’s Cookies & Champagne Party 2011 GIVEAWAY

Remember when I was telling you about that awesome Holiday party where the lovely ladies of Toronto bake their favourite cookies and share them with one another? Well, I’m giving you the chance to come join this cookie eating fest for FREE!

HUG describes their Cookies & Champagne party as:
a champagne-infused all-girl networking sesh + modern cookie swap”
Interested in going?  I’m giving away TWO tickets which include:
♥ A complimentary glass of Barefoot sparkling wine
♥ Access to the cookie exchange, networking party and mini Christmas market
♥ Delectable sandwiches & refreshment from Yes to Fresh and FIJI Water
♥ Interactive Photo Booth & Red Carpet Arrivals from Olympus Canada

To enter, simply leave a comment below and tell me your favourite cookie. I will draw the two winners on Friday November 25th (Hip + Urban Girls ONLY please).


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The Joy of Reading

“You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.” – Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Some of the best writers will tell you that they are constantly reading, whether it be books, magazines, newspapers or poetry. It’s a great way to refresh your imagination, learn new words and perhaps gain some inspiration for your own work.  I’ve always loved to read, and I can spend hours contently roaming a bookstore. I just have to make sure I don’t walk out of there with a paychecks’ worth of books.

Since I’ve been out of University I’ve had much more time for pleasure reading, and I’ve been making it a point to make a dent in the ‘To Read’ list I’ve been compiling for the last few years from recommendations and top reading lists.

This past summer I was approached by a friend who was interested in starting a book club, and I immediately jumped at the opportunity. We called together some of our biggest book-loving girl friends and are now known as The Dog Ears Book Club (dog ears as in the flaps one makes on a page of a book when they are holding their spot). Our seven members meet once each month in Toronto to discuss the book of the month and chat about life over brunch or dinner.

One of our members' boss designed bookmarks for us. Aren't they the best?

So far we’ve read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, and White Oleander by Janet Fitch.

This month we’ve chosen The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.

So far the club has been a great success and I’ve been able to read every book before the meeting. I’ve come to look forward to our monthly meetings to chat about the books, how they relate to our lives, what we would do if we were in the characters’ shoes and just catch up with friends about what’s new. Are you in a book club? Do you have any favourite book club reads you’d like to share?

This is how our club works:

  • Each member is responsible for one month where they choose the book and the location of the meeting, and leading the discussion.
  • We meet once a month and go around talking about what we liked/disliked about the plot, writing style, characters and general idea of the novel.

If you’re thinking of starting your own club, here’s some advice from the woman who has inspired millions to read, Oprah Winfrey. Happy Reading!

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HUG Cookies & Champagne Holiday Party

It’s that time of year again when the Holiday party invites are starting to pile up, and your iCal is cluttered with events. I know you have lots of swanky parties to choose from in the few weeks leading up to the holidays, but ladies may I suggest one where you get to sample hundreds of delicious cookies made with love by 200 of your closest soon-to-be friends?

The second annual Hip + Urban Girl Cookies and Champagne Holiday Party is happening soon and you should come. You know how much fun I had last year so dont miss out! Get your ticket and then we can start brainstorming yummy cookie ideas together.

Save the date!

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Clean, Girly Fun at Pretty Beauty & Books

Andrea Victory is living one of my dreams. She’s the owner of a little piece of beauty paradise in the Mirvish Village known as Pretty Beauty & Books. A place where two of my loves comes together – books and beauty products. And what a lovely marriage it is.

I popped in for a visit last week and left with a perma smile and some samples of One Love Organics Skincare products and Tallulah Jane natural fragrances that have changed my opinion about eco-friendly scents. Read all about it here on Hip & Urban Girls.

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Thinking about Eat to The Beat TO at Snacktime

Salmon Rolls from Spice Route

It’s 3p.m. meaning the mid-day snack monster is about to be unleashed. This bag of Halloween chips at my desk, however, just won’t compare to all the amazing treats I sampled a few weeks back at Eat to The Beat culinary fundraiser for Breast Cancer. I’ll just have to look at the photos and remember each savory bite….

If you want to make yourself feel bad about that boring salad you had for lunch then check out morefrom the event here.

ohm nom, nom, nom......

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The Travel Diaries: Exploring Barcelona and Paris

As I write this I am the holder of an expired passport and more than two months away until I can take anymore vacation time. My travel options are looking bleak for the near future but luckily the memories from my European adventure this past summer are fresh enough to get me through the weeks ahead.

In July I finally took my long awaited university graduation trip to Europe and headed to Barcelona and Paris with a friend. It was my first time in Barcelona and my second in Paris, but definitely not my last in either place.

Coming across unique settings for a photo op is one of my favourite parts of traveling.

Read about my day trip to Versailles here and my recommendations for what to see and eat and where to stay in Barcelona here on

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A Hair Affair: My Visit to Greg May Hair Architects

The ultimate indulgence

Having someome fuss with my hair for a few hours while I sit back and enjoy a coffee comes in a close second to getting a manicure on my list of The Best Ways to Pamper Yourself. At the nail salon or hair salon you can catch up on your celebrity gossip in the latest issue of US Weekly and also get the scoop on some local dirt from your stylist.

My hair got some extra TLC a few weeks ago during my first visit to Greg May Architects Salon in Yorkville. After months of seeing before and after hair makeovers posted on Greg’s Twitter page I knew I had to be next in his chair. The results were awesome and you can read all about my hair pampering here.

Voilà! My new haircut

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Rack to Rack with Rachel Matthews

Photo By: Krist Papas

Your friends and family may be quick to tell you they like your new shoes or your outfit choice for the evening even if they aren’t totally serious, but Rachel Matthews won’t lie to you. If you shouldn’t be wearing that skirt length, blouse print or dress sleeve she’ll be the first to tell you politely, but then she’ll be sure to follow up with a long list of alternatives that will work amazing for your body type and make you feel glamorous while still staying under budget.

I recently attended one of the Rack to Rack Funshops hosted by the Toronto-based fashion stylist and she shared with me some fundamental tips everyone can keep in mind while revamping their closet for the fall. Check them out on Style Nine to Five.

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My Brief Encounter with TIFF

Ok so I’ll admit I was one of those people who didn’t actually watch a movie during the Toronto International Film Festival (for shame). I really wanted to but A) I didn’t get a chance to score tickets and B) I was out of town in Newfoundland for most of the festival. I did however have enough time to attend two out of the four trillion TIFF-related events going on around Toronto on behalf of The Hip & Urban Girls Guide.

The “Paparazzi Around” crystal mesh dress was definitely my favourite

I dropped in to the Swarovski Lounge at The Four Seasons Hotel to check out all the beautiful bling that was on loan for the A-listers to sport on the red carpet. The Daniel Swarovski Catwalk Collection was making its only Canadian appearance and I was lucky to see the amazing one of a kind couture pieces for myself. (You can see some of it here).

Later in the week I was at the TORO After Dark Party hosted by TORO Magazine at Ame Restaurant. There was an appearance by Glee’s Corey Monteith (i’m not a Gleek so this wasn’t huge for me) among others, and the event was held in support of Artists for Peace and Justice, which is a charity helping children in Haiti.

My encounter with TIFF this year was short and sweet (no Madonna spotting, not even a glimpse of Brad and Angelina or Clooney), but I’ll be making sure to catch the most talked about films when they hit theatres in the next few weeks.

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