Tag Archives: toronto

Gift Guide

Winter-2012

If you’re like me you’re lusting over many beautiful things this holiday season. Some are shiny and sparkly, others are soft and cozy and the rest are sweet enough to eat!

If you’re having some trouble checking off the most important people on your gift giving list here is some inspiration that will set you on a merry shopping path without going over budget. It’s Whatever Magazine’s Gift Guide with presents from under $50 to well over $2,000. Check it out here and happy gift giving!

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Spa-ahhh Time

Sometimes you just need to unplug, log off and be pampered for 90 blissful minutes.  When it’s time I suggest heading over to Sweetgrass Spa in Toronto to see Lourdes for their signature 90-Minute Treatment Facial that combines a customized facial with a heavenly full-body massage.  Definitely my choice for a decadent way to combine the best facial and massage features into one indulgent service. Read more about my Sweetgrass experience on The Hip + Urban Girl’s Guide.

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Feeling the Burn at the Barre: BarreWorks Toronto

I’ve been going to the bar a lot lately. I have more energy, I feel stronger and leaner and I think I’ve even lost a few pounds!

I should mention this isn’t your typical bar – in fact it’s a barre not a bar. BarreWorks Toronto to be exact. It’s the newest ballet-inspired fitness studio on Queen West, and I tried their 60-minute Mixed Level class for the Hip & Urban Girl’s Activity a Week column along with Lisa, HUG’s EiC. Try it out for yourself and you’ll feel a burn similar to the one experienced after one too many shots of tequila – except at this barre the burning sensation will make its way to your thighs and linger for days.

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Worth the Two-Hour Wait: Grand Electric

Two hours to eat a taco? You better believe it. Welcome to Grand Electric, where the city’s most enthusiastic eaters will gladly wait up to two hours for a table in the little Parkdale eatery. Since last November the place has been serving up an excellent menu of guacamole, ceviche and sweet and spicy tacos. If your tummy is rumbling prepare to drool as you read all about it and witness the photos. If you’re tempted to make the trek I suggest arrived well before it opens at 6 p.m.

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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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All-Natural and All-Canadian: Consonant Skincare

Beauty brand Consonant Skincare recently opened its flagship store in Toronto. It’s 100% Canadian and 100% natural soaps, moisturizers and lotions. I stopped by the shop on behalf of Hipurbangirls.com to learn more about the brand created by Bill Baker, and try some organic skincare products for the first time. Verdict: Works just as well as the mainstream chemical-laden products you’re used to, minus all the irritating and potentially dangerous properties. And the packaging is super cute (huge bonus). Find out more about the store and the brand here.

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A Day in the Life of a Prima Ballerina

Growing up, some of my favourite films were about dancing; Save the Last Dance, Centre Stage, Dirty Dancing Havana Nights, Honey and even You Got Served. What can I say, the early 2000s were full of dance-themed films targeting teenage girls and I was a frequent movie-goer.

Now that I’m (somewhat) grown up I’ve decided I should start enjoying cultural performances, such as the ballet, more often. Problem is it’s sometimes hard to find anyone who wants to tag along. Until I find myself a dedicated ballet-watching partner I’ll have to keep using my klout as a writer to interview the dancers themselves.

Heather Ogden in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

Here is a recent Q&A I did with principal dancer at The National Ballet of Canada, Heather Ogden. What’s your favourite dance movie or live performance?

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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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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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