25 Years of Spectacular Style, Sales, and Smiles
By Kaavya Sivakumaran
The arrival of spring means two important things: sunshine and toasty temperatures are creeping up on us, and it’s the perfect excuse to make some fashionable additions to our warm-weather wardrobes.
“Yellow will be in during the fall season,” says Betsy Papachristou, owner of El Pipil, a chic and charming women’s boutique at Danforth and Broadview.
The Danforth became home to El Pipil when a relative of a relative of Betsy’s opened the store 25 years ago. After 18 years of owning it herself and developing a relationship with the area and its residents, she says, “we have a really good customer base in the neighbourhood, and people know us…[some of them] have been coming here for years, and we’re seeing them over different parts of their life.” Read more
Fresh Playlists to Keep You Moving!
By Jessica Herrington
I am continually on the lookout for new, pulse-pounding songs to add to my iPod to push me through those sweaty, endurance-testing workouts. Remember: music is an awesome motivational tool.
I previously created two stimulating playlists for you here. For those of you looking to update your workout playlist, I have composed another two, based on genre preferences, to keep you going. Use these songs to beat boredom and refresh your current playlist.
Raising Guide Dogs for Canadians with Disabilities
By Corie Benjamin
Since they were first domesticated, there has always been a close bond between humans and their canine companions. Dogs have been bred for all conceivable purposes and have served us as shepherds, guards, draft animals, hunting partners, and simple companions. As technology advanced and lifestyles changed, dogs have come to fill new positions in our lives as rescue team members, therapy partners, and abilifying agents. Specially trained canines have taken the place of eyes and ears and guided thousands of people across the world.
On November 5, 1927, the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post published an article by a Ms. Dorothy Harrison Eustis on the idea of training dogs to guide the blind. She had been inspired by the Pottsdam school in Germany, which trained several guide dogs to assist World War II vets who had been blinded in battle. Little did she know that her idea would spark a movement still in motion today. When confronted by one Morris Frank of Nashville, Tennessee, who challenged Ms. Eustis to train such a guide dog, she presented him with Buddy—a female German shepherd and the first North American seeing-eye dog. In 1929, the first guide dog training school was established through the efforts of Eustis and Frank, and over the years other countries followed their example and developed training schools capable of giving a large measure of freedom back to visually challenged individuals.
A Guide to Thailand
By Caroline Frappier
When I was prepping for my trip to Thailand in January, I was unusually calm about the entire planning process. With only a couple of months before the new year, I decided to meet my long-time partner-in-crime, Kathleen, at the Bangkok airport in February. This last-minute, loose schedule, devil-may-care approach to travel made my parents want to lock me up in the cellar.
“Check in every three to four days now, you hear?” barked my father when he dropped me off at the airport the morning of February 4th.
“Hopefully they have internet!” I replied as I moved to grab my backpack out of the trunk. As we embraced, I felt a certain uneasiness at the thought of the journey that was waiting for me on the other side of the globe. I had done very little research on the country I would be traveling through for an entire month. The fun was just beginning. Read more
Marketing in the Digital Age with Multimedia Business Cards
By Corie Benjamin
Presentation is everything. This is the motto in the age of instant information and constant connection. Compactness and efficiency are the marks of distinction between individuals competing in today’s market. In this quicksand economy, the difference between the dream job and temp work, the big break and the overlooked executive lies in a well-presented delicate marriage of functionality and efficacy.
A new product that is advancing this marketing principle is the video business card. These innovative cards are the size of a credit card—8×5 cm wide and about 1.2 mm thick—and contain a built-in flash drive that can hold up to 32 gigabytes of data. Read more
Five Handy Tips for Finding Great Garments While Thrift Store Shopping
By Kiley Bell
1. Inspect Carefully
It’s important to keep in mind that just because an item is cheaper in thrift stores than it normally is elsewhere, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great find. Be sure to inspect each garment carefully, looking closely for broken zippers, stains, discolouration, loose threads, and rips. Loose threads can easily be fixed with a quick stitch, but large tears may not be worth the time or money it takes to repair. Don’t base the quality on a missing button either; often, old shirts can look better with a set of new buttons.
Rediscover Your City Today
By Natasha Tsakiris
Do you remember the first time you learned to ride a bike? What about driving a car? The first time you learned to read or tie your shoes? Do you remember the excitement and pride that you felt as a child when you discovered you could accomplish something new?
When was the last time you did something spontaneous?
In the spirit of the New Year, I made some resolutions and goals: exercise more, write more, and many others. The most important goal I made though is to be an adventurer of sorts, using each and every day as a chance to learn and grow. In short, to experience a year of firsts.
With Toronto bursting with culture and exciting things to do, see, and taste, now is the perfect time to rediscover the city and maybe even rediscover yourself. You may surprise yourself and pick up a new hobby along the way.
So get ready to get your hands dirty, your body moving, and your mind learning with these fun options to keep you busy this winter. Read more
Five Tips to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
By Stella Kim
Creative problem solving is a regular feat often required to navigate today’s complex economy. Especially for those working in creative fields such as marketing, architecture, and the arts, having a steady flow of ideas may make or break your next project. Dealing with the symptoms of writer’s block may be the last thing you need when worrying about meeting your deadlines. Here are some ideas to help break you out of the creative slump and restart your idea engines.
- Observe and Record. Whatever it is you decide to do for a little break—go on a walk, watch a movie or play, grab a coffee with a friend—it’s all about extending your zone of awareness. Examine your surroundings: what does the building or room look like and what do you like or dislike about the way it is set up? Listen to conversations around you: what are some current issues or age-old problems that people discuss? Be open to things that could grab your attention and spark your interest unexpectedly. Write everything down so you don’t forget! Read more
Adventures in Digitally Declared Dating
By Alysse Kennedy
My journey with Facebook began when I was 17. I had just begun to successfully navigate high school social life: I got my braces taken off, outgrew my glasses, decided full bangs were my signature look (years before Zooey Deschanel made them cool), and started dating my first boyfriend. Around this time, Facebook swept in, bringing new modes for communicating with the world and portraying your position within it. Just like in high school, on Facebook, everyone loves a good love story—or a good scandal. Back then, my Facebook “friends” loved to see relationship status stories flash on their newsfeeds, prefaced with the iconic red heart emoticon that was either whole or broken (a little distinction that made a big difference).
A relationship status going from “In a relationship with…” to “single” makes for embarrassing Facebook gossip, but when I was seventeen with a cute boyfriend that I wanted to show off, I wasn’t thinking about that. I didn’t want to seem clingy, so instead of talking about declaring our relationship on Facebook with my boyfriend, I did what any intrepid 17-year-old would do: I got my friends to bring it up with him in the cavalier half-joking way of a teenage girl. When I received a “…wants to be in a relationship with you” request from my boyfriend later that day, I was ecstatic, but, putting up a cool front, I ribbed him for it before clicking accept. Read more
Beautiful Gifts on any Budget!
By Corie Benjamin
Stuck for gifts ideas for your daughter’s teacher, your estranged cousin, or the co-worker you drew as a Secret Santa at work? Christmas baskets are easy but elegant gifts that can be modified to fit any person on any budget. The items in a basket can be as personal or generic as desired, so custom baskets are the perfect gift solution for those difficult-to-shop-for people on your list.
Baskets can be any size or cost, based on budget and intent. Small baskets (usually based around a coffee mug or bowl) can be made for under $20. Large baskets are more elaborate, involve more items, and cost about $30–$40 to put together. A basket with food and drinks is the easiest project because it can be given to almost anyone—although always be sure to check with the recipient for any allergies. If you plan to make multiple gift baskets for the holidays, begin collecting items for them early.
What you’ll need to make a basic gift basket:
- A Container: Your entire project revolves around the container: it is the base of your project. Pick either a large mug for small projects or a basket for larger projects to arrange your items in. Cheap, plain mugs can be found at dollar stores and Home Sense outlets. Travel mugs or specialty mugs can add a personal touch. Baskets can be wicker or woven and any size. For medium-sized projects, try a sushi bowl! Give some thought to choosing a container that can be repurposed after the basket has been received; this adds a level of practicality to the gift.
- Gift Items: For an easy start to your basket, try loose-leaf tea, coffee, powdered cider, hot chocolate, or a mix of any of these depending on the recipient’s preferences. Individually wrapped chocolates, candy canes, or peppermint bark (which can be found at bulk dry goods stores) can be added to fill in extra space.
We suggest the following items for a small basic basket: a small bag of coffee or tea, two candy canes, one fancy coffee stir spoon, Werther’s Original caramels, and individually wrapped chocolates.
For a larger basic basket, consider several small bags of different flavoured coffee and tea, a small tin of mulberry cider, packets of gourmet cocoa mix, homemade cookies, peppermint bark, specialty mugs, candy canes, and a variety of candies and chocolates for filler.