Category: shopping

rosie the rebel: adorable shop in bloorcourt

In September, I went to Just for Laughs and found an adorable shop on Bloor near Ossington. Rosie the Rebel is run by Elle and specializes in retro-inspired style. We walked in and I honestly expected the prices to be way out of my price range and I fell in love with a coat, I was worried. I walked up to this beautiful coat and flipped the tag and was actually presently surprised, it was only $125. I don’t normally spend a lot on my clothes but this coat was worth it, plus, we live in Canada, it was a reasonable investment. I asked Elle a few questions about her store and the retro style:
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What inspired you to open the store?
Opening a store has always been my dream. When I was about 10 I walked in to a shop in PEI called “the mad hatter”. The owner (I assumed) was sitting behind the desk hand sewing something and looked so happy, I fell in love with the idea of being a shop owner at that moment. A lot of people ask me this question, as if opening a store is something I just thought of one day, but it’s the only thing I dreamed of in life and i truly feel like one of the lucky ones to be able to live out my dream. It took a lot of hard work, a lot of fun ‘ups’ and unexpected ‘downs’, but I think that struggling to achieve what you want in life makes it that much better once you have it. 
My best advise for anyone who wants to open a shop is: just do it! Don’t “what if” yourself into not doing it. The only thing that separates business owners from those who work for others is they go for it, they take the risk, just believe in yourself and give it a try. 

Where do you get your style ideas?
I started collecting vintage when I was about 12, I had an obsession with 20s and 30s, especially Louise brooks. My collection consisted of mostly accessories but I always had a keen eye, even at 14,15,16 I was picking items that I later found out were collectors items.
My grandmother Doris was also a massive inspiration, I can still remember going through her closet with her excitedly dreaming about someday being able to dress that way myself. My personal love for vintage evolved into 40s and 50s style when I started doing costume design for Toronto burlesque dancers around age 23. My vintage collection at this point had grown so large that I had to rent a two bedroom apartment, one room just for my vintage. 
Even now I continue to obsess with anything vintage pre-dating the 1970s and it’s that obsession that allows me to pick great classic funky and alternative pieces for my boutiques, and having spent my life fluctuating from S-4X and back again means I understand all body types when I’m buying. 
On top of being inspired by what was, I’m also inspired by what’s current, I love people watching on queen west, seeing unique styles emerge and start to be a trend. 

Why do you think the 50s style has proven to be timeless?
50s is timeless because of the body type it caters to, a classic womanly hourglass. And if you don’t have an hourglass, these garments can create one for you. Most decades were hit or miss, the drop waist of the 40s or the shapelessness of the 60s, but the 50s hit the nail on the head. Pulling out if WW2 the ‘new look of Dior’ in 1947 really defined what we now know as “50s”, a cinched waist and an exaggerated hip creating a perfect hourglass, a silhouette that hadn’t been praised for decades. 
Style icons like Audrey Hepburn really sealed this look as ‘classic’ because it showed the womanly figure in a confident-classy way, and who wouldn’t want that look?      

What would you consider (two?) staples to creating a vintage look?
A swing style dress and red lipstick (I’d recommend sephora cream lip stain in ‘always red’ for a perfect matte look and ultimate wearability) 

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I would definitely recommend checking out this store, the styles were amazing and the prices were very reasonable. I was also very happy that Elle shared the same love I have for the sephora cream lip stain
Hell Bunny – New Millie Coat (GREY)
the very beautiful coat I bought, still available on their site

holiday shopping: six ways to think outside the box

The holiday season is fast approaching, soon we’ll be eating more than we should, sharing great times with our loved ones and exchanging gifts. Gift giving can be a lot of fun but it can also be a lot of stress. There’s the issue of knowing what to get someone (how many scented candles do I need!) and making the time to get all the shopping done. There is also the concern that Christmas has become too commercial and materialistic. The problem for me is, I agree but I still love to give gifts. I love the look on someone’s face when I know I’ve bought the perfect gift, but these gifts don’t need to be material, here is a list of places you can buy gifts that we go even further.

  1. Habitat for Humanity – A great charity I had the privilege of volunteering with a few months ago has a gift guide. For your friends or family, you can be equipment used to build a home or items for a home in their name that will go to help provide low-income families with safe and affordable housing. You can get tools like hammers, screwdrivers or hardhats or household items like shower heads, light fixtures or smoke detectors.
  2. Toronto Humane Society – For the animal lover in your life, consider a donation to the THS. You have the choice of helping a cat, a dog, an unusual pet or giving where the need is greatest. These gifts go to help feed, provide medical care and other needs of these animals living in the Humane Society’s care. These adorable gifts come with cards for you to give to your recipient.
  3. WWF – Another great option for animal lovers is WWF. You can select from a variety of animals and they send you a plush to give to your recipient. There is so many options such as turtles, polar bear, koala bears and pandas. This is a great option if you want to give someone something to open when you give your magical gift.
  4. SickKids Foundation – These gifts are perfect for just about anyone you know. This site is really well designed and makes it easy to sort by occasion and budget. There is a large assortment of items such as stockings for children in the hospital over the holidays, decorations for the hospital, as well as hospital equipment. You can also give ‘gift certificates’ to allow the person the chance to pick what kind of gift they want to give to the hospital. 
  5. Plan Canada – Plan Canada also has a large assortment of gifts to ‘give’ to your loved ones. Some are matched by various organizations meaning your dollars go even further. They also have a number of gifts associated with their “because I am a girl” campaign, which is dedicated to the rights of girls. You can purchase items like bed nets, to protect families from malaria, fruit trees, animals, school supplies and medical support which helps families in the developing world.
  6. Christmas Wish – This idea actually came from someone I know who worked with a group of people that were tired of candles, bath soaps and chocolates for Christmas. A couple of years ago, they started a Secret Santa with a twist. They each drew a name and purchased a toy for them to give to the Christmas Wish. The idea was to buy a toy that reminded you of your person which made it a lot of fun. They still had the typical Secret Santa price tag of around $20 but they really had a great time with their new Secret Santa. 


Hopefully this list has giving you some ideas of how to think outside the box. Do you have any non-traditional gift giving ideas? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Shopping!

estee lauder: special promotion this weekend

It’s fall, which means (sadly), it will soon be winter. On the bright side, this is a time for us to revamp our look with new fall/winter colours as well as update our skin care collection for the colder weather. Not that we really need an excuse to buy new makeup, but I’ll take it!

Starting tomorrow until Saturday, October 19th the Estee Lauder counter at Hudson’s Bay Fairview Mall is hosting an exclusive event to help you get ready for the upcoming season. Estee Lauder just released their new, award winning scent Modern Muse which has a light and feminine scent. Their metallic collections are perfect for the upcoming season and their holiday collection is available, so it is perfect to get started on your Christmas shopping. At this annual event, with a minimum of purchase of $80, you’ll receive a 45-minute consultation with one of their make-up artist as well as a free gift. A professional photographer will be on-site for the entire event taking professional pictures of your new look. You’ll be able to take home a framed copy of the picture as well as link to your social media. This is perfect if you need a new LinkedIn profile, because you’re selfies do not scream professional. You’ll just be disappointed you can’t use it as your driver’s license or passport photo. 

Spots are filling up, so give the ladies at the counter a call 416-491-2010 ext 1-244 and book your appointment today. 

new mall in the gta

I checked out the new premium outlets in the halton region. It was a beautiful day so perfect for the outdoor mall. It probably won’t be as great in december. I had heard that parking is brutal but we got pretty lucky, we were able to find a spot in minutes. The selection of brand name stores and regular stores was pretty great. The worst part about the mall was the food selection. There was only 5 restaurants in the food pavillion and no room to expand. There was also a limited number of indoor seating. That’s not really an issue in the summer because there is lots of outdoor space, again won’t be great in the winter. If you’re going to check it out, have fun and good luck with parking!

paid to shop online?

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it isn’t. Technically. 

Ebates gives you cash back for shopping online. I was pretty skeptical when I first heard about it, but I just had to give it a try. I’d say the average percentage back is 1-5%. I tend to use it for sites like Groupon, TeamBuy, Expedia, as well as other deal and travel sites but there is a great selection. If you do absolutely any shopping online, you should check to see if the site is there. They have a huge selection of stores, everything from Sephora, to Walmart, to Gilt and so many more.

I also recently used it to buy textbooks (because I’m a student-lifer) from BookMob. I received my books within two days and received 3.5% back. BookMob also buys back textbooks (so does Textbook Rental), which is great since trying to sell them back to the school is usually unbelievably complicated. 

I know that Toronto is a pricey city, and every little bit helps. Hopefully everyone can find something to get their cash back on. Happy Shopping!

For my American friends, use this link: Ebates USA