Creating gift guides are a hell of a ton of work. Even though I’m finally completed the I want – I got Holiday Gift Guides for 2016, Best Buy managed to convince me to partner up and show you some I want – I got approved options for gifting this season. Best Buy is the place where all my electronic gear dreams come true.
GoPro HERO5 Black Waterproof 4K Sports & Helmet Camera
I’m obsessed with GoPros. Every time I’m in Whistler, I wish I had one strapped to me. I’m not doing anything really worth watching again but I’d really love the chance to share my adventures from my perspective. This one is 4K capable and waterproof. Perfect for Whistler and Barbados.
As part of this post, Best Buy sent me a gift and a gift for someone on my nice list. Being a nerd, I got a robot. The Sphero SPRK+ Robotic Ball is a programmable device that can move and light up in numerous ways. I have so much programming fun in store over the holidays. On my nice list is my barber at Hollow Ground Barber Shop, BeeJay. He received the Nest Protect Wi-Fi Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm which was a perfect addition to his Nest thermostat. Thanks for the gifts Best Buy.
This post was sponsored by Best Buy Canada. The views and opinions expressed on this blog, however, are purely our own.
“The next best thing to the enjoyment of a good time, is the recollection of it. ~James Lendall Basford”
I like to have souvenirs of my good times. They help me transport to that past moment and relive it once again. Technology has made the accumulation of memories so very easy these days and I’ve taken full advantage of this. High quality photos, video and audio is available to everyone using today’s advanced smartphone technology. Motorola and I have teamed up this summer so that I can share with you on how I #NeverMissaMoment thanks to the Moto g4 plus and the Moto 360. The #NeverMissAMoment campaign challenged me to devise a summertime adventure to share with you.
There are so many possibilities when presented with a challenge like this but there is one place I couldn’t get out of my head: Ste. Anne’s Spa. It’s one of my oldest bucketlist items. When I was first discovering the joy of the spa experience, I learned about this award winning, all-inclusive spa resort situated in the Northumberland Hills of Ontario. People who went raved about it. However, when given the choice of Ste. Anne’s Spa or my yearly Whistler trip or Barbados the spa lost out every time. With Motorola, the perfect storm of opportunity presented itself and I was finally going to get Ste. Anne’s Spa experience.
It lived up to all my expectations and more. I have an obsession with hammocks and one of the first things I saw on the property was this two-person hammock under a gazebo with wind chimes. I was in heaven. Hammocks were placed strategically around the property. This was the place for me. It was so easy to find quiet little spots away from everyone even though the spa was pretty booked up. The spa is on 400 acres of farm land and they have several trails on the property available to guests.
There are more than enough hot tubs, saunas and stream rooms on the property for everyone to enjoy. I was surprised at how quiet they were, especially the gorgeous outdoor grotto. It’s a testament to great design that you can feel alone while surrounded by many people.
You can go to the Spa for a day but the magic happens when you book their overnight packages. The resort is all inclusive so they provide breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. They don’t serve alcohol but encourage guest to bring their own to enjoy with dinner. I was in a room off the main building called the Blue Room (yes, it had was full of beautiful blue things) but guests with large groups can book several of the private cottages found on the property. I had a magnificent sleep-in that room. I always realize the sleep injustice I’m doing to myself at home after perfect nights like ones experienced at Ste. Anne’s Spa.
Ste. Anne’s Spa introduced me to the magic that is Thai Massage. I was taken to an outdoor gazebo for my massage treatment. Ste. Anne’s Spa has several gazebos available in the summer for outdoor treatments. It’s absolutely magical being outside listening to the sounds of nature while the wind gently blows around you. My second treatment was the Contouring Mud Stone Wrap which is like a mud wrap and hot stone massage in one. There is something about being wrapped up like a burrito to stew in botanicals that is just wonderful. The final product of super soft skin is great but I love the whole process. I have high praises for the staff, their welcoming and unpretentious attitudes were very refreshing.
My smartphone is so important to me for capturing my memories. I don’t carry a digital SLR so having a smartphone with a high quality camera is a must. I capture most of my photos with my smartphone so I need something that takes great photos quickly and easily. The Moto g4 Plus has a great 16MB camera. It took awhile to get used to the camera but I expected that. I haven’t explored the Professional mode options of the camera but I’m very happy with the results I’m getting on auto-mode. The quality of the action shots is incredible. I take a lot of photos of me in motion and the Moto g4 Plus delivered the most clear action shots.
Its macro-mode is pretty great too as I tested it at Ste. Anne’s Spa on their beautiful flowers. The details produced by the camera were pretty astonishing as I could see the tiniest details on the poppies so clearly. One of the few Motorola apps on the phone is for gestures. The camera and flashlight gestures are pretty damn handy. I’m don’t normally take advantage of these options in other phones but Motorola managed to make them seamless. I use the camera gesture a lot to capture those fleeting moments without wasting too much time getting to an app. I definitely had my smartphone out more than the average person and the spa encourages you to leave it in the room to escape the outside world. The camera gesture really helped in keeping my rampant smartphone use discreet. I’d whip out the Moto g4 Plus from my robe pocket, quickly snap a photo and put it back. Very handy. Ste. Anne’s Spa is so beautiful, I had to document my time there. I’m very bullish on this camera!
I tried to take advantage of everything available to me at Ste. Anne’s. I did a yoga class an incredibly beautiful studio. Large windows allowed the summer breeze to pass through and the sounds of the wilderness to surround our practice.
I hiked the guest trails and used my Moto 360 to get nerdy about exercise stats. The Moto 360 has turned me into an exercise tracking nerd. I keep track of my yoga practice and make sure I’m hitting my daily step and activity time goals.
I’m not just saying this but I love this phone. It has a stock Android setup which is free of all the bloatware other manufacturers place on their devices. That decision by Motorola easily put the phone in the “hells yes!” category for me. I was sold on it just on this alone. Bloatware is a scourge and this move saved me so much storage space. Thankfully the other features continued to make me a big fan of the phone. It has a slot for a mini SD card expanding the 32GB device storage. Photos and videos always take up all my storage so this was another win. The screen is larger than my last phone but I’m enjoying the extra screen size and the quality of the display. Thanks to Motorola, I #NeverMissAMomentofTranquility with the Moto g4 Plus at my side. I love how beautiful all my photos and videos turned out of this special moment in my life.
You can follow the #NeverMissAMoment campaign by following the hashtag on your favourite social networks. Please check out Motorola Canada on Twitter at @moto_can and Instagram at @motoincan for all the latest updates.
This post was sponsored by Motorola Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely our own.
I have a soft spot for JACOB. It was the shop that helped me transition from student to IT office worker. I didn’t have much use for business casual clothing in school while taking my B.Sc in Kinesiology and Diploma in Computer Programming and Analysis. So, when it came to real world dress codes, I had a lot to catch up on. JACOB was there as an affordable place to get nice pieces for my new environment, the office. Even after my tastes got more expensive, JACOB was always there as a place I went to for basics and cute dresses. There is a lot of choice for business casual clothing out there with all the new American shops in town but I always fall back on JACOB. It’s the Canadian in me. When JACOB approached me about showcasing an I want – I got approved look from their Holiday Collection and I said yes.
I had the Holiday Collection lookbook so I made some preliminary choices in my head before stepping into the Eaton Centre. In the end, I went for a dress and cardigan combo. It’s one of my staple looks for winter office dressing. I didn’t feel like going colour crazy so the look is all black everything. Let’s break it down.
1. JACOB Bustier dress with lace $139.90 – I fell in love with this dress immediately. It’s perfect for the office with the hint of lace in an office appropriate manner. I’m also in love with knife pleats, my favourite pleats of them all.
2. JACOB Black and Crystal Necklace $39.95 – The store manager helped me out with this necklace as I was trying to figure out something to add to the dress. I couldn’t find this one online, but it’s in store!
3. JACOB Cardigan with jewel buttons $47.92 – I have to thank the Store Manager again with this choice. After I picked up the necklace, I decided that I wanted a cardigan as a topper for the dress. The manager thought this cardigan would be great because it matches the necklace. I agreed.
4. Pattern Tights – These are from my closet and I can’t remember where I bought them. I thought they worked well with the lace as they were similar in pattern
5. 3.1 Phillip Lim Chelsea Boots – I was going to wear heels with this look but I thought it would be more appropriate with the shoes I’m currently obsessed with, the Chelsea Boot.
This post was sponsored by JACOB. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely our own.
I don’t pay much attention to the type of toilet paper I use. My parents had their routine but when I moved out it wasn’t about brand loyalty but convenience and price. Cottonelle challenged me to think about my choices when they dropped off the Cottonelle Care Routine package at my front door. The Cottonelle Care Routine is a two step process that uses Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths followed by Cottonelle Toilet Paper. Just what are Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths? They are pre-moistened toilet paper. As an adult it sounds kind of strange to use pre-moistened toilet paper but parents use them on babies and toddlers all the time. Why should babies and toddlers be the ones to have ultra clean bums all the time? Adults should get a piece of that too and Cottonelle is in agreement.
Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths are 90 percent wood pulp and water. They passed trade associated guidelines that demonstrate that the cloths clear properly maintained toilets, drain lines, sewers and pumps. The cloths are also compatible with septic and sewer systems. No fatbergs in Toronto folks. Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths are alcohol, oil and soap free but do contain mild skin cleansers and emollients as well as ingredients to prevent microbial growth. The Cottonelle Cleansing Cloths dispenser is refillable and designed to keep the cloths fresher longer. It also has a seal to keep the cloths moist in between uses.
The Cottonelle Care Routine was pretty easy to get into as everything was in easy reach in my bathroom. Yes, it felt like being baby clean again minus the caretaker doing the wiping. It would be great if there was slightly smaller version of the dispenser for small bathrooms like mine. For people that want to take the Cottonelle Care Routine on the road with them, you can get portable packs for your purse. Cottonelle Ultra Comfort Care Toilet Paper reminded me that I should be paying more attention to quality. It is unbelievably soft and thick for 2 ply toilet paper. The fact that it’s also dust free is heaven.
Have you tried the Cottonelle Care Routine? Tell me what you think using #LetsTalkBums and @geekigirl on twitter. One lucky reader will win a $75 gift certificate to shop on eLuxe.ca.
This post was sponsored by Cottonelle. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely our own.
The Canadian Tuxedo. Like it or not, it’s a fashion trend that is never going to go away. And with every trend it can be done well and it can be done badly. MasterCard Stylicity is holding a Canadian Tuxedo Contest this season and the winner will win and $2,000 MasterCard Prepaid Card. You have until today (October 25, 2013) to submit your Canadian Tuxedo entry using the #Stylicity hashtag on Instagram or Twitter.
This season, MasterCard Stylicity pays tribute to the denim on denim trend, also known as â€“ The Canadian Tuxedo. MasterCard Stylicity bloggers have been invited to style and submit their own version of the Canadian Tuxedo using a mix of their wardrobe with an item(s) purchased from Stylicity merchants in their respective neighbourhoods.(source)
So, I’ve been asked to show off my version of the Canadian Tuxedo. I’m very strict on the definition and Canadian Tuxedo is denim on denim full stop.
To make this outfit happen I headed to the Sauvage were I grabbed a Cheap Monday denim button up and a Line & Dot moto jacket. I paired them with my Triarchy jeans. It’s called a Canadian Tuxedo so I decided something of this outfit should be Canadian. Topping off the outfit is my favourite beat up Nine West boots and RETROSUPERFUTURE sunglasses.
Get your entries in for the contest, I’ll be checking the #Stylicity hashtag to see your Canadian Tuxedo Style.
This post was sponsored by MasterCard. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely our own.
Now, I’m here to talk about my stomping grounds, West Queen West. I’m definitely dating myself but ever since my university days in the mid 90s West Queen West has been the party destination. Back then, there wasn’t much development like now but there were bars, booze cans and secret raves that fuelled the dancing and partying yearnings of youth. Those amazing memories are why I have such a strong attachment to the area. I’m a little older now but I’m still stomping around West Queen West. The area has turned into a hotbed for commerce and MasterCard customers have lots of choice.
West Queen West is where you want to shop if you are a man in Toronto. Anti-Hero13, Gian-Paolo Mazzotta, and Simon Carter London can help you get your menswear on. Vintage is a staple of West Queen West with Cabaret Vintage is the, ahem, Queen of the strip. It was there in the early 90s and it’s still kicking around; better than ever. Vintage lovers can also check out Rescue Vintage on Ossington. Women can find great pieces in West Queen West too. Look to some of my personal favourites like the purveyors of all things French, Canon Blanc and the place to get your cool girl on, Sauvage. Girl Friday, Leigh & Harlow and Champagne & Cupcakes can take you from work to night to weekend in three stops. If you are looking for deals on designer clothing, head to Fashionably Yours, a consignment shop specializing in designer merchandise. Fresh Collective is another long time resident of West Queen West that specializes in Canadian designers. Head to Elle Hardware to pick up jewellery and add that finishing touch to an outfit or maybe you need some funky socks from FloorPlay Socks. Men and Women can shop together at Ben Sherman, Leigh & Harlow, Ben Sherman and Original Penguin. Perhaps custom shoes are your desire? It’s pretty rare to find in Toronto but West Queen West has Brodawka & Friends! Don’t forget to stop into Spectacle, the eyewear Mecca of West Queen West.
West Queen West isn’t just about shopping you can get pampering too with Sekai Nail and Beauty Bar, Doll Bar Inc and CHEVEUX By darren kwik. After all this shopping, you’ll need to eat. Church Aperitivo, Nyood Restaurant and Bar, Milagro Cantina, The Gladstone Hotel and Fishbar can satisfy a number of different tastes. Finally there is Reposado Bar. I recommend this one a lot to people who love tequila. It also makes a great date place and has a cute little patio.
This post was sponsored by MasterCard. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely our own.
I’m a Microsoft Girl. It’s not sexy and probably not cool but Windows is my operating system of choice since the DOS days. Now while I might be a windows junkie, I’m also very, very slow to adopt new versions. I ran Windows 2k and XP till the bitter end. I skipped everything in between XP and 7 and only reluctantly started using Windows 7 when it came pre-installed on a Dell laptop. So just as I’m getting comfortable with 7 here comes Windows 8. My aversion was at high alert again. I read about how differences in the OS, including the moaning of the missing Start button. I started thinking about how long I could put off upgrading again. The Start button is life on a Windows platform. A constant reassuring feature that every Windows user understands. Now that I’ve tried a flavour of Windows 8 I don’t have the same extreme aversion I used too. I got over myself a bit.
I don’t do well touch devices. I’m a staunch Blackberry lover. I need my keyboard, its life to me. Touch screens are too inefficient for my old school ways. I hate typing on them, with a passion. These quirks of mine keep me attached to my laptop as the workhorse and the tablets as playthings. I love my Kobo Arc but it’s better as consumption device. I don’t create on it, that’s my laptop. Yes, it comes back to the keyboard plus I like the flexibility of a mouse for fine movements.
I followed the launch of the Surface by Microsoft in June of 2013 and it surprised me. Of course I loved the cover slash keypad. They stressed that it’s a desktop replacement that can do all the work and still have tablet accessibility. I wasn’t in the market for a desktop replacement so that was it.
Fast forward to now and through the Work Your Game program, Microsoft Canada provided me with a 32GB SurfaceRT. My operating system change phobia wouldn’t allow me to jump right in and put Windows 8 on my Dell XPS. I needed to see it somewhere else first or have it forced up on me via a new computer purchase. So here I have this fun thing to play with and get to know Window 8.
From a hardware standpoint I love the SurfaceRT. It looks slick and durable. The kickstand is genius and pairing with the keyboard makes the happiest tablet user ever. There are two types of keyboards: Touch and Type which is perfect for old schoolers like me that crave tactile feedback. It’s light and small enough to fit in my Rider bag with the touch keyboard attached. The SurfaceRT has a USB 2.0 port, HDMI port and a microSDXC card slot that lets to add up to 64GB of extra storage.
The swipe gestures in WindowsRT are easy to learn and execute. It comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview. So you are ready to go with spreadsheets and word processing. IE10 isn’t a mobile browser you so get the full Internet browsing experience. With WindowsRT I find myself using the search feature much more. You just start typing on the Start Screen and the search automatically displays and allows you to search the device, your apps, the Windows store and the Internet via Bing.
Overall, I’m very happy with the SurfaceRT. However there are a few things that I’d like to change. I wish the SurfaceRT ran the full version of Windows 8. I don’t like being tied to app stores on my devices. I have control issues. The Windows Store is lacking a lot official apps and I’m finding this to be limiting as I can’t efficiently duplicate tasks I perform on my laptop. It would be really great to be able to use those applications with the tablet and keyboard combo. With time I imagine the selection will be better as more and more people start developing for Window 8 but it’s just not there yet. One bonus is the fully function browser for web apps that don’t have nd official presemce in the Windows Store. The camera was disappointing. It’s not good but this seems to be a common feature I run into with the various tablets I’ve interacted with or owned. Centralized social profiles can be unmanageable if you have a lot of contacts like me. It took longer than normal for WindowsRT to sync with my all social profiles.
Overall, I like the Windows 8 platform. I didn’t require a long period of adjustment which I liked. The Start button absence is a small shock. After I started looked at the Start Screen as my Start button it fell into pieces. I think the OS great for touch devices. It’s easy to navigate and I find myself using both the keyboard and screen together. I like navigation advantages of the touch screen but having that stability of an external keyboard. WindowsRT has a touch screen keyboard. I avoid it like the plague. I do like that you can choose different layout styles for it. I’m not sure how much I’d like to run Windows 8 on a non-touch device though, however the upcoming Windows 8.1 update might change my mind. Windows 8.1 is Microsoft’s response to customer demand for the return of the Start button. Shows you how important this featured introduced in Windows 95 is so fundamental to the user’s experience and expectations of a Microsoft operating system.
I’m a Microsoft girl. It’s my OS of choice since the DOS days. I was excited when they contacted me to join their Influencer Program a few weeks ago. The first event is called Work Your Game with Windows 8. Microsoft Canada invited six people (Amber MacArthur, Carl Edwin-Michel, Sharad Mohan, Steve Dangle and Tyrone Edwards) to play two rounds of golf with a swing clinic in between at the prestigious Glen Abbey Golf Club. It’s a competition with the most improved player winning $8000 for the charity of their choice.
Along with golf we learned about the new Windows 8 operating system. I received a SurfaceRT from Microsoft in order to experience Windows 8 on a touch screen device. So the first round of golf and the MAT-T swing clinic are complete and we moved on to the final round. I felt really good after the swing clinic so the competition was on.
Before golfing we had lunch at Glen Abbey and learned more about the Windows 8 operation systems and we got more acquainted with our devices. Microsoft Canada had a surprised for us. Canadian Golf Pro, Mike Weir got on Skype and chatted with us about golf and his experiences. Every man and woman in that room was fangirling and fanboying like crazy. Each of us got 10 minutes to talk to Mike personally.
Mike also had a copy of our MAT-T analysis and provided us with personalized tips. He demonstrated some of his tips over Skype with his invisible helper making sure he was in shot. It was so very cool. Mike mentioned my name in his tips to the other influencers and it was awesome. He’s totally #teamAnita on this one. I’m not much of a Skype person but the experience with Mike has changed my mind about it and I need to incorporated it more in my life. I would find out days later from my Mother, so very casually that Mike is friends with my cousin’s husband and he was at their wedding. Weird 6 degrees of separation there.
In our first round of golf we played the first nine holes at Glen Abbey Golf Club, for the second round we played the back nine holes. IT IS LIKE A WHOLE DIFFERENT COURSE! Jack Nicklaus, golf superstar designed Glen Abbey and the back nine is gorgeous. The Sixteen Mile Creek flows through the course and the water hazards, trees and sand traps are plentiful.
Holes 11 to 15 are called the Valley Holes with the 11th considered on of the most beautiful holes in golf. The tee off for the 11th hole requires you to hit the ball into the valley and over a pit of massive trees and brush. The back nine is way harder than the front nine and it seemed at every hole there was a story about some amazing performance Tiger Woods had during a Canadian Open like Tiger’s Run at the 15th hole or his incredible 216 yards shot with a 6 iron out of a bunker to birdie the 18th hole
It was a beautiful clear day and the perfect temperature for golf. I love being outdoors and having beer delivered to your via golf cart. I wore another bright golf outfit with pants and shirt from the Gap and my lavender Cat Worksong brogues.
The tee off for the 13th hole is pictured above. You can see how Sixteen Mile Creek weaves throughout the course.
Since we teed off around 4:30 we got to see the course at dusk. The setting sun makes for incredible views.
In the end, I didn’t win the $8,000. It went to Tyrone Edwards. I felt really great about my game though. I was hitting the ball a lot better and got some compliments on my swing. My putting could use some work as it was hitting the ball way to hard. I didn’t use Mike Weir’s gently tossing a ball advice about it. The golf bug has infected me now. I really want to play more and develop my game. It seems my Dad’s love of golf is transferring to me. I seem to have his swing so this doesn’t surprise me.
Check out all my photos from Glen Abbey
This post was sponsored by Microsoft Canada. The views and options expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.
The comprehensive three hour fitting experience covers all 14 clubs in the bag, from driver to putter, ensuring a perfectly fit set of custom clubs and offering the individual a deeper understanding of the golf swing. The MAT-T system (Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade) utilizes 3D motion reality via 6 high speed cameras to transform the golfer into an avatar â€“ a digital rendering of the golfer and their swing that can be viewed from any angle. It is a process and system similar to those used by video game and computer developers to capture 3D motion in a high speed environment.
This analysis is exactly the same as the pros use to get their clubs to match their swing perfectly. I was really excited about this session as I have a B.Sc in Kinesiology. Analysis of movement was something I was interested in at school. The final project for one of my Biomechanics courses involved something similar to the swing analysis but on a much more rudimentary level. The computers I was using back then ran MS DOS. I filmed one of the members of the women’s basketball team shooting a jump shot. I took the film and transferred it to the computer where I manually plotted the major joints the body over many frames. With the plotting made the computer was able to extract measurements of the player’s movements. MAT-T is way more advanced than what I was doing all those years ago.
Microsoft Canada was wonderful and provided me with black car service to Glen Abbey. I walked into the TaylorMade Performance Lab, wearing my brightest golf outfit, and there was a sign greeting me. It was a thoughtful gesture and I felt special for sure. I met Shawn, my certified TaylorMade Club fitting Professional. He would perform the analysis and give some pointers on how to improve my swing. I learned that Shawn played on the pro tour for 3 years himself. He’s a great teacher.
We walked into the analysis room which is fitted with 6 high speed cameras place strategically around the room. Shawn got me suited up like an actor in a sci-fi movie. Sensors were placed all over my body and the machine was calibrated to my frame. I was handed an iron that also had sensors placed on it and was instructed to swing. It was a little weird smacking balls in a small room but there is a net and padding that prevents the ball from bouncing back and smacking you in the head. After a few hits you ignore it. Shawn showed me the details of my swing with an iron on the screen. He heard that I had a B.Sc in Kinesiology so he went into extra detail for me. I was in sport nerd heaven. Shawn corrected my swing stance and showed me about proper placement. We then moved onto the driver
Shawn’s tips were amazing and I really felt like I improved on things. My analysis proved it. It was time to take things outdoor to see if I could carry my new golf posture outdoors. Shawn was amazed and surprised at my swing. I was amazed and surprised at my swing. It was consistent and I could hit it pretty far. I felt like my late Father was helping me here. He was known for his swing. After some hits outside it was back to the Performance Centre to analysis and work on my putting. The MAT-T system is pretty amazing. You can compare yourself to previous recordings which Shawn did to show me how I improved my stance. It’s also great to comparing yourself to the pros as they have many of their results on file.
After the session was over I received a customized list of clubs and settings for when I’m looking to get myself outfitted and a CD of the analysis. Unfortunately, the CD only runs on 32bit machines and the only laptop I have with a CD is 64bit. So I haven’t even gotten a chance to review it myself. I learned so much about Golf from Shawn and how complicated the equipment is. It’s absolutely baffling. After going through the MAT-T system I don’t know how anyone goes and buys equipment off the shelf without expert consultation. It’s amazing that this technology is available for everyone from beginners to experts.
So armed with my improved swing, I got mentally prepared for the final round at Glen Abbey. It would decide who gets the $8,000 for their charity. I can raise more money for Story Planet with the help of my social networks. The more you RT my tweets, view my blog posts and videos will give me an opportunity to add up to $1500 to the minimum $1000 Story Planet will receive because of my participation. Use the hashtag #teamAnita on twitter to show your support. Whoever has the most active social community will receive and Xbox 360 and Windows 8 tablet to give away to their lucky readers.
This post was sponsored by Microsoft Canada. The views and options expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.
Yes, Microsoft Canada invited me to playing Golf for charity. I imagine there is some confusion happening on your end. Golf, Microsoft and I want – I got, how do these things fit together? Well let me break it down,
I’m a Microsoft girl. It’s my OS of choice since the DOS days. I was excited when they contacted me to join their Influencer Program a few weeks ago. The first event is called Work Your Game with Windows 8. Microsoft Canada invited six people (Amber MacArthur, Carl Edwin-Michel, Sharad Mohan, Steve Dangle and Tyrone Edwards) to play two rounds of golf with a swing clinic in between at the prestigious Glen Abbey Golf Club. It’s a competition with the most improved player winning $8000 for the charity of their choice. Along with golf we learned about the new Windows 8 operating system. I received a SurfaceRT from Microsoft in order to experience Windows 8 on a touch screen device.
Regular readers have never seen a mention of golf on this site until now. I’m not a regular player but I do enjoy the sport. My connection to golf is through my late father. He loved golf. He was my model of someone who was totally devoted and in love with their sport. This was something that I would model throughout my young adult years when I dedicated much of my life to sport. My father tried to get us into golf as kids, taking us to the driving range and getting us to hit balls in the backyard. It didn’t take. My brother and I loved soccer and running around. Golf is too cerebral a game to grasp as a hyperactive kid. So fast forward to now and the last time I played a round of golf was 8 years ago. I jumped on the chance to join the Work Your Game with Windows 8 event because I wanted to be close to my Dad in a way. I was hoping I could channel some of his amazing skills as a golfer. He was really good and my childhood memories of him are filled with his golf trophies.
My charity selection is Story Planet. I learned about this youth literacy charity through friends who did some branding and illustration work for them.
Story Planet is a literacy organization that inspires young people to be creative and effective communicators. We encourage them to develop their unique voices and help them launch their stories through the written word, visual arts & digital media.
Microsoft piled all of us in Black cars early one Tuesday morning and we made the drive from downtown Toronto to Oakville. Glen Abbey is a super exclusive club and we received a lot of rules before arriving, especially about dress code. Collared shirts and golf pants are a must. Sporty clothes are not acceptable and make sure those shoes have no spikes. It wasn’t hard to dress the part because I actually have golf shirts in my closet. They are colourful and I use them under sweaters generally. I opted for Tretorns instead of Converse.
Microsoft mentioned that there would be a film crew because they would create videos for each of us to share about the experience. I didn’t really grasp the concept until we pulled up to the Glen Abbey clubhouse and the Video team of with two cameras were waiting patiently. Yikes, I thought. It’s 7:30am and this film crew is here. I automatically put my sunglasses on before getting out the car, time to be on.
Everything was setup for us when we arrived. Four golf carts with full sets of clubs all lined up in a row, just begging us to drive them. Well that was what it felt like to me, I LOVE driving golf carts. Thankfully, most of the other participants weren’t golf experts. To make it easier on us we played Scramble Golf. That way we wouldn’t spend too much time at each hole pissing off the tournament that was teeing off behind us. Our ragtag crew was hilarious and the film crew followed us for 5 holes. I could only imagine what the members were thinking. I’m sure we were a total pain in the ass for the Golf Rangers who travel the course making sure everything is running smoothly.
I enjoy golf even when I’m playing badly. Being outdoors with friends is the best part about golf. Drinking on the course is another thing that makes the sport great. Unfortunately at Glen Abbey there were no beers on course. Mind you it was way too early to be drinking. Golf is the kind of sport that makes you more aggravated as you get better. My goal for this round was just to hit the ball. I couldn’t remember any tips or the proper posture. My driving game got better as we progressed and I even managed to get par on one hole. I only hit my ball into the water hazard once when I decided to use a bigger club than necessary. I was just happy with the long hit. My putting game stayed pretty consistent and it was much better than my driving game.
Glen Abbey is a beautiful course. Peaceful and immaculate with lots of water hazards around. We gawked at the houses that back onto the course, they are massive. The one time I partied in Oakville was at a house that backed onto Glen Abbey. At nightfall we hopped the fence and smacked balls around. I kept looking for that house but didn’t see it.
We only played 9 holes which was a blessing for a first outing as 18 would have been a hell of a slog. We all got back to the Clubhouse and recorded our initial scores. My initial score is crap and I’m not going to mention it here. You’ll learn about it when I tell you about the final round that will choose the winner.
I can raise more money for Story Planet with the help of my social networks. The more you RT my tweets, view my blog posts and videos will give me an opportunity to add up to $1500 to the minimum $1000 Story Planet will receive because of my participation. Use the hashtag #teamAnita on twitter to show your support as I prepare for tomorrow’s final round. Whoever has the most active social community will receive and Xbox 360 and Windows 8 tablet to give away to their lucky readers.
Check out all my photos from Glen Abbey below in the slideshow
This post was sponsored by Microsoft Canada. The views and options expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.
It’s coming. That dreaded day that creeps up just after you just finished buying presents at Christmas. Valentine’s Day brings more decisions and anxiety around gift buying.
Shopper Drug Mart has the perfect tool for gift giving and receiving, online wish lists. Browse the Shoppers Drug Mart Valentine’s Day Gift Guide on www.loveiseverywhere.ca and add your choices to a shopping list that you can save and refer to later. If you are looking for that particular something for Valentine’s Day you can create a wishlist and email it to your suitor. Not very subtle but it gets the job done. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were grateful in the end; you’re saving them time.
I’ve selected a few items from the Shoppers Drug Mart Valentine’s Day Gift Guide that I think would make great gifts. For the man in your life, fragrances like Marc Jacobs Bang and Givenchy Play are tops. Bang is a personal favourite, and I use it myself. An LCBO gift card is put to good use and is an alternative for the guy who doesn’t wear fragrances.
From the men’s choices you can see that Valentine’s Day is all about perfume for me. I like LancÃ´me Tresor in Love and Givenchy Play for Women. These are both perfumes I own and I wear Play a fair bit. For women who don’t wear perfume, a Winners Gift Card is perfect for providing the gift of options. It may not be romantic, but I think it’s very effective.
When I was approached to write this sponsored post on Clorox Green Works I was a bit relieved. I used some of their products regularly so I have previous exposure. Like millions of people across North America, I started to become more and more aware of the harmful ingredients in traditional cleaning products. Friends introduced me to alternative natural based ones and I haphazardly started to incorporate them into my home. The main problem with those options was access to stores that carried the products and the high cost associated with them. I would always try to buy the natural alternative but there were times when I couldn’t due to money or access issues so I would cheat. Over the past couple of years I’ve noticed more natural products on the shelves of my local Shopper’s Drug Mart. I’m excited about the easy access and lower price points.
Clorox is the first major consumer products company to develop a line of natural cleaning products. They are moving into the market and this is a good thing for consumers. Their distribution and lower production costs make their natural cleaning products more accessible to regular consumers. More and more consumers want to make the change. Now the cost and access barriers are lifting. Ingredients come from items like coconuts, lemons and corn. Green Works products are at least 99% natural in that only 1% of the Ingredients are petroleum derived. They contain no phosphorus or bleach. Clorox defines natural products as derived from natural renewable resource, the material is biodegradable, 99% petrochemical free and not testing on animals (source). Green Works products do not disinfect but Clorox is looking into adding natural disinfecting options in the future.
The Sierra Club has endorsed the Green Works products which also give them more legitimacy in the natural health product market. You can find the Sierra Club logo on the bottle as well as the EPA’s Design for the Environment label. The Sierra Club chose to partner with Clorox because the company would be able to meet their goals of making affordable and effective green cleaning products easily available to the public at an affordable price. Partnering with one of the great but smaller companies wouldn’t be very effective at making the product available to millions of people because of the access and price barriers. Clorox takes natural cleaning products from a niche market into the mainstream. Green Works products are priced 30 – 50% less than other natural cleaning products available (source). Sierra Club also chose Clorox because they have a better than average environmental performance than other companies.
My 1st experience with Green Works was through a sample of laundry detergent. I was surprised it was Clorox.Â I went on to buy the bathroom cleaner and all-purpose cleaner for my home. They were very effective and worked just as well as the traditional alternatives. Clorox consumer research has shown that in lab controlled and blind testing Green Works is just as effective as traditional cleaners (source). To facilitate this post Green Works provided me with a package of cleaners including the all-purpose cleaner, natural dilutable cleaner, bathroom cleaner, glass & surface cleaner, dishwashing liquid and cleaning wipes. I’m happy to now be able to try a full range of products.
Green Works is found in the cleaning aisle of most major stores.
Disclosure: This a post about Green Works by Clorox. Clorox hired me to share my experience with their products.
Thursday was the only day of LG Fashion Week I didn’t attend. I spend the day in New York City with some research and development folks from Intel. I was geeking out and loving it but that post will come later. There were a few collections I wanted to check out on Thursday but when NYC calls I tend to forget everything else. Most of the collections were during the day so I wouldn’t have seen them even if I was in the country.
The last Baby Steinberg show I saw was for Frugal Fashion Week at the Bata Shoe Museum. I’m amazed at how she takes reusable materials and creates clothing out them. For some reason there are no photos from Schick available for Baby Steinberg so check out the photos and videos on the LG Fashion Week site.
Klaxon Howl has a great collection of military clothing and it a favourite because of my love of military. I once bought a cute white sailor hat from the store. It’s one of those places that makes me wish I was a guy to take advantage of all the good stuff. I was a little disappointed the collection wasn’t heavily military influenced. The things that stood out for me the most were the women’s looks.
I really wanted to see the THOMAS show too. Their style aesthetic seems to ber much inline with my own.Â I liked the women’s looks but the men’s were so much more compelling. I’m loving the super slouchy pants.
Kimberley Newport-Mimran had the 70s on the brain while designing the Pink Tartan spring summer 2011 collection. The 70s is a major trend that appeared on the runways of high fashion capitals. It resulted in a looser fit, shiny fabrics and lots of colour. Â Pink Tartan used colour blocking, stripes and sheers with a 70s touch. Â This is my favourite Pink Tartan collection. Â It was a joy to watch. Â The presentation was cute with the models taking positions on risers beside the runway after their pose.
I enjoyed so many elements of this show. Â The batik style prints worked well on the jacket and the maxi dress. Â Jewel tone strapless jumpsuits make me very happy. Â Great looks featuring shorts with cute blazers. Â Amanda Laine’s outfit was my favourite on Monday at the Holt Renfrew show. Â The green and black print reminds me of Proenza Schouler. Â It’s amazing that the etherealÂ sheer tiered maxidress came in neon yellow. Â I dig the neon and I’m glad Kim is too. Â I want it all.
I loved the leopard print. Â The spots are just the right size. Â A leopard print jumpsuit rounds out the great collection of jumpsuits from Pink Tartan. In a sea of wide leg pants there were a few slim choices and I loved the orange pair. Â The colours in this collection gave off some serious wattage on the runway. Â They are so bright. Â George Antonopoulos the stylist who put the looks together did an amazing job. The boater hats were cute choice.
The collection is so vibrant and inviting but I’m not a fan of Â the shiny black fabric used in some looks. Â From a collectionÂ cohesionÂ perspective they worked but I didn’t particularly enjoy them. Â I can’t wait to see that neon in the stores come 2011.
So it’s LG Fashion Week once again. Toronto now has its own kick at the Spring Summer 2011 collections. The venue has changed to Heritage Court at Exhibition Place. It’s a lot roomier and there are lots of bathrooms. Getting into the runway room is alway a chore and that hasn’t changed. I love the exposed brick but I wish it was on both sides of the building. The non brick side could have used some extended curtains but I’m getting a little nitpicky here. Overall, decent except for the bad sun glare at the end of the night.
Monday night saw Holt Renfrew bring its traditional media cocktail party to the runway. We sawÂ some of the best of Canadian fashion in one runway show. Denis Gagnon, Jeremy Laing, Lida Baday, Line RUNWAY, Mikhael Kale, Pink Tartan, Smythe, Wayne Clark and Wings + Horns all presented several looks from their spring summer 2011 collections. This show was also a sneak peek at the upcoming Pink Tartan and Line Knitwear shows. The runway show didn’t have champers and nibbies,Â so it was a bit bittersweet. I stopped attending when they moved to the breakfast format started, work was beckoning at that time. Coco Rocha even attending wearing Spring Summer 2011 Greta Constantine and looking wonderful. She also gave a little speech at the beginning.
I loved Jeremy Laing. His clothing is just so effortlessly cool on everyone I see. Now I’m even more excited to see the stuff in the studio. I knew I would see the entire collection from Pink Tartan and Line Knitwear the next day so I didn’t read anything into the looks shown. I would make judgments on the whole show. I liked what I did see though. I’m pretty bang on with my CBC Radio One trend predictions of colour blocking and stripes. Pink Tartan knocked that prediction out of the park.
I was glad it wasn’t the real Line Knitwear show because all I could focus on was the models and the shoes. It wasn’t pretty even though the knits and printed silks were. I’m usually the biggest Mikhael Kale fangirl and it really pains me to say that I only liked the finale dress and the tan cropped leather jacket. The dress was so sparkly and beautiful. It memorized me as it shimmered under the lights down the runway. There is little left to the imagination because of the plastic which makes it a bit scandalous. 🙂 Lida Biday and Wings + Horns were both well made lines but didn’t grab me at all.
I really like the styling for Smythe. It made me smile and it looked like fun. Plus I’m a huge fangirl. I also liked the styling for Pink Tartan. You work it George.
I was gaga for Denis Gagnon again. I cannot wait for his show on Friday. Cannot freaking wait! He’s continuing the string thing which I love and doing something very cool things with stripes. It was my first Wayne Clark runway experience and he opened with Rose. I love Rose she’s cool. He did a series of long red gowns with bows, ruffles and roses.
So, my LG Fashion Week posts are sponsoredÂ this week. This doesn’t affect my editorial point of view and I get awesome pit pictures out of the deal (ya and money). Bloggers can also use these photos for free on their sites. Follow the Chick Advisor Flickr Feed to see the latest shows. Next up for me is Pink Tartan, Jessica Jensen + Alexander Berardi and Line Knitwear.