September 2012 Archives

Fashion Forward: Craigslist for Clothes: NOW CLOSED

If you get bored of your clothes and like to send them to consignment shops so they get a second life in another closet while you recoup some cash, then you are going to love this website. Canadian and American shoppers can shop for AND sell apparel and accessories online for free at Fashion Forward, which is like Craiglist but just for fashion. It couldn't be easier to use. I signed up for an account to sell my very fashion-forward sister-in-law Amanda's purse. Inspired by one of the bags Anne Hathaway wears in The Devil Wears Prada, we thought perhaps this stylish piece would catch the eye of a frugal fashion-find-seeking online shopper.

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When you create your account, you choose a location to let shoppers know where you are situated. I really like how local the site is; I could pick Etobicoke as my location instead of Toronto. Upload a picture of what you would like to sell, write a description, add your asking price, and then list it. Here's the purse (which Amanda bought at Kataya) listed on the Fashion Forward site.

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I see there is also a kids Canada Goose snow suit for sale right now in Alliston that has never been worn. There are many categories to shop, including wedding dresses, costumes and baby clothes. When you sell your stuff on Fashion Forward there are no fees and they take no commission, so you earn 100% of whatever your item sells for. Fashion Forward also supports the awesome charity New Circles which provides clothing to those who need it. So friends, there is your new way to waste time at work. Rosie :)

Food Dudes Food Truck

I get why there is such a line-up of happy regulars at the Food Dudes food truck. The food is delicious. The menu items may sound simple and casual, but the flavours are anything but. And, they were playing really good music.

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The Cap'n Crunch cod tacos and mac and cheese balls were so tasty and completely worth the wait. The Nutella Bombs were the perfect example of how Nutella should be eaten- melted in a dessert with banana bread.

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We found Food Dudes at Front and Sherbourne; follow them on Twitter @TheFoodDudesTO to find their latest location in the city. Rosie :)

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Best Show Ever: The Sopranos or The Wire?

podcast.jpgIf you have a passionate opinion about Aaron Sorkin or get heated over discussions about which is the better show- the Sopranos or the Wire- then you should listen to my latest chat with Mike on the Toronto Mike'd Podcast. Episode 3 is full of lots of TV talk as well as some reminiscing about shopping for music at Sam the Record Man on Yonge Street. I bought my first Pretenders cassette(!) there. And now you know I'm old! Rosie :)

Kathleen's Closet: Wardrobe Services in Toronto: NOW CLOSED

Someone recently told me that women only wear 20 percent of their clothes and shoes. This seems entirely plausible to me. Recently I purged my closet- really cleared it out. I had so much stuff I couldn't see what I had anymore if that makes sense (my friends tell me it does.) I had no problem getting rid of about half my wardrobe. I am only sentimental about a few pieces and I was relieved to clear out most of it. But I have many friends who struggle with getting rid of clothes. One dear friend recently confided that she has 50 pairs of black pants. Two pairs fit. This is not good. This is heading into hoarder territory. She needs Kathleen.

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Kathleen's Closet provides personal shopping, style advice and wardrobe consulting that is affordable. Basically Kathleen will sort you out if your closet is overloaded with stuff you never wear and you are struggling with what to keep and what to get rid of. Not only will Kathleen organize your closet into a happy place with lots of well coordinated, properly fitting stylish outfits, she can also help you pass your unwanted clothes to Toronto women's shelters. I recently met Kathleen at an event and she is awesome. I like that her mission is to help women build their confidence and empower them by using fashion. Women are amazing and excellent clothes just make us even better. Kathleen's Closet is located in Liberty Village, as is The Golden Apple Confectionery, a sweets and chocolate shop that made Kathleen this stunning chocolate shoe.

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How gorgeous is that? I would both happily wear and eat it. Rosie :)

Very Good Causes: New Circles Charity

Many of us have closets stuffed full of clothes we have barely worn. Every once in awhile we should give some of those clothes to charity. New Circles Charity is a Toronto non-profit organization that provides new and gently used clothing to people who need them. Cocktails & Closets, hosted by Fashion Forward, was held tonight in support of this charity. Sellers emptied their closets and jewellery boxes all over a cocktail lounge on King, and shoppers got to peruse the goods.

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Admission was a cash or clothing donation to New Circles Charity. The event was held at the Saviari Tea + Cocktail Lounge on King, which makes really pretty tea-infused cocktails.

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For more information about how you can donate to the New Circles Charity clothing program or hold a fundraising event to support this awesome cause, visit their website at www.newcircles.ca. Rosie :)

Dubbel Zout Licorice... At Bulk Barn!

I have always wanted to try Dubbel Zout, which is double-salted Dutch black licorice. Some have said no, no I don't, because it is the most disgusting candy ever made. I thought I would like super-salty licorice because I love sweet and savoury tastes together. I also thought I would have to wait until my next European adventure to try this candy, which is made in the Netherlands and a very popular treat in northern Europe. Turns out I didn't have to journey to a Nordic country, I just had to go to Bulk Barn. Those little black pellets of crazy-taste were here all along, just innocently tucked in with all the other proper licorice.

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While doing what has now become a regular licorice stock-up (two Bulk Barns have recently opened near me) I decided to also pick up a few DZs. I wish I could say that my sophisticated palate enjoyed this very strong unusual flavour. Nope. They were as disgusting as everyone said they were. Just look at them in their Bulk Barn bin... they look crazy! Who buys these!? The same people who buy Marmite, surely, and Brio.

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I'll stick to my marvelous allsorts, nice and sweet, the way licorice should be. Rosie :)

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Rescue Vintage Grand Opening Exhibition

There is only one thing better than a fabulous party, and that's a party with live models wearing gorgeous pieces of vintage fashion. That was the scene tonight at the grand opening exhibition of Rescue, Ossington's newest boutique.

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The exhibition showcased Rescue's fall collection. The pieces are exquisite.

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Rescue's collection is a mix of vintage and contemporary. Some of the beautiful pieces that jumped out at me include this Chanel chain belt and this pink Sue Wong frock.

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The exhibition is open to the public this weekend, Saturday September 15th from 12-8 p.m. and Sunday September 16th from 12-6 p.m. It's at 109 Ossington Avenue on the second floor, across the street from the Rescue boutique. Refreshments will be available, and you can shop the fall collection. Rosie :)

Parentbooks on Harbord Street

Updated July 21, 2014: Parentbooks has moved! The new address is 121 Harbord Street, three blocks west of Spadina Avenue, at the corner of Harbord and Major Streets.

I'm mad about books and I really love local book stores. I find there is a dwindling selection of interesting books at Chapters/Indigo and more and more scented candles, picture frames and overly priced baby toys. The books don't seem to be the focus there as much anymore. I try to shop at independent and second-hand book stores as much as possible, and when we need a parenting-type book there is no better shop than the perfectly named Parentbooks.

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The staff at Parentbooks are so knowledgeable and the selection is outstanding. If you need a particular title, they will order it in for you. Whether you are looking for books about adoption, ADHD, asthma, autism or anger management, Parentbooks has it covered (and those are just some of the As).

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Parentbooks is located at 201 Harbord Street, south of Bloor just east of Bathurst. Rosie :)

TIFF 2012: Frances Ha at the Ryerson Theatre

It's the most wonderful time of the year. The Toronto International Film Fest is in full swing and that means interesting movies from directors I love who gamely subject themselves to earnest questions from an adoring crowd afterwards. What makes TIFF so awesome is that with a little planning, anyone can perch themselves in the front rows to listen to their favourite writers/directors/actors/producers talk about the art they have made. Last night we saw Frances Ha, directed by Noah Baumbach who has made some great movies including The Squid and the Whale and one of my all-time favourites Kicking and Screaming (NOT the Will Ferrell soccer movie- the 1995 film about college students about to be thrust into the real world trying to figure it all out starring Josh Hamilton and Eric Stoltz. Favourites lines: "I'm nostalgic for conversations I had yesterday" and "Oh, I've BEEN to Prague."

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On stage for the Q&A after the film, from left to right: Noah Baumbach, co-writer Greta Gerwig who also stars as Frances, and actress Mickey Sumner who plays her best friend Sophie. Frances describes their friendship as being "like a lesbian couple that doesn't have sex anymore." This offbeat black-and-white flick follows the floundering Frances as she tries to pull her scattered life together. It's funny, edgy, modern, and also features the unique and adorably weird Adam Driver from the HBO series Girls. Rosie :)

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Behind the Mics at the Toronto Mike'd Podcast

I've been spending some afternoons co-hosting a very fun podcast with a very old friend. Well he's not very old, but I've known him for a very long time. Mike runs the popular website torontomike.com and I thought all his fans would like to see some behind the scenes pics from the second episode, which we recorded today at the Humble & Fred studio in Etobicoke.

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Mike B. is on the left, and producer Mike W. is on the right. I can't remember what they were singing, but thankfully they got it out of their systems before the show started. It's hard to keep a straight face around here, and the podcast is a riot. Mike, Mike and I chat about lots of funny stuff. Listen and tell us what you think! You can download it for free here on iTunes. Rosie :)

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P.S. Special thanks to Alan (AKA FLuffee) for taking such great pics. Multi-talented!

Toronto Sculpture Garden: Gold, Silver & Lead

Right now, there is a stack of Honda Civics piled up in the Toronto Sculpture Garden. Gold, Silver & Lead, the free park's current exhibit, is very cool.

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I love this little garden for the free art exhibits, and my little man loves it for the absolutely fantastic waterfall fountain. It's really unique and peaceful to take in.

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The Toronto Sculpture Garden is located at 115 King Street East right across the street from St. James Cathedral. This is a perfect spot to admire the architecture of this stunning church, which has the tallest tower and spire in Canada.

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My only knock against the park is that the city locks it up at 6:30p.m., which I think is really early for the summertime. I felt bad for the city employee who had to kick us out; it is not a good day at the office when you have to tear a happy little toddler away from a water fountain in a public park in broad daylight. But it's a lovely green space downtown with free art so I can't complain too much. Rosie :)