Have you ever gone to a gym or fitness studio and felt so intimidated you wanted to leave? FitZonePLUS owner Suzanne Gracan can relate. She was active and involved in sports until an accident in 2001 left her barely able to walk for two years. After gaining over 120 pounds, a mixture of yoga and acupuncture helped her get back in action. But her experiences in yoga studios were not ideal.
Who better to ask about pregnancy and infant massage than two female registered massage therapists with a gaggle of children between them who own one of Toronto's top clinics? Helen Milic and Lisa Macchia are the owners of Bayview Sheppard RMT and know the benefits to mother and baby through their own experiences as well as through the feedback from the countless moms and moms-to-be they have helped over the years.
You know I love it when a company considers the shapes and sizes of all women when it stocks its shelves. Brava Boutique adheres to this principal and has got you covered — your breasts that is — offering a whopping 180 sizes in its Toronto lingerie store. How is that for selection?
Do you ever stumble across something that is like an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet of goodness...only it's totally healthy? This would describe Bellyfit, a unique fitness movement that addresses the needs of a woman's body, mind, spirit, heart and lifestyle - with some serious moves and ultra cool music thrown in. It is the perfect blend of so many great things I don't even know where to begin.
The New York Fashion Week presentation September sixth had a mere six outfits. On a short runway. In a small space. In a show shared with five other companies. Yet plus-size company Cabiria managed to steal the limelight from big names before, during and after the fashion tents were folded up for another season showing the first plus-size collection in the event's 70 year history. I am still grinning....and also grimacing that it's 2013 and this is just happening now!
Shopping for plus-size clothing in Canada just got a little more interesting. Old Navy has just expanded its online sizing to include plus sizes starting at a 16W running up to 30W. To say the curvy women I know are a little excited is an understatement!
Canadian online dress company HelenJean has a motto and it is this: You are one of a kind and your clothes should be too. Nice. The company prides itself for being able to create customized sizes for its customers based on their measurements and preferences without relying on the number on a label that will not necessarily fit all.
Here is how it works:
Pick Your Style - There are 12 styles available for $197 all with varying cuts and lengths and 3 have pockets.
If you're like me, you've seen countless swimwear reports this summer claiming the perfect fit for all body types. And then, ahem, the suits often have the same cut and are always shown on the same body type — ultra thin. How is the average woman to relate? I want to see a variety of styles to flatter many figures — slim, curvy, tall, petite, you name it — and know the designer behind the brand has taken our wonderful differences into consideration too.
This summer I have been taking several pilates classes per week. Everyone shows up with perfectly cute toes attached to perfectly cute feet. It is a hard standard to upkeep and it has been driving me crazy. I have found myself buffing my heels daily to try to keep them looking smooth as chances are my feet will be dangling near someone's head. I have bought yoga socks and just nod when constantly asked if my feet are cold. Sure, anyone can paint cute toes, but how to maintain the bottom of your feet without expensive weekly spa pedicures?
When it is a million degrees outside like it has been this summer, all I want to do is wear skirts and maxi dresses. Pants...not so much. But here lies the problem — or the rub — if you will, my inner thighs rub together and it becomes ridiculously painful. Pretty sexy right? This has happened no matter what size I was growing up and I took to wearing bike shorts under skirts at an early age. Pretty bulky and not so flattering, but brought relief.
Who knew a simple concept added to a handbag could relieve so many problems? Canadian designer Ivy Chen that's who. In 2012 she launched Jolie, a handbag company determined to marry style and function.
I was recently invited to Walmart's fall/winter preview of its George line. Lots of cute, affordable bargains will soon be hitting the store shelves! I love that there are lots of options available to look stylish without breaking the bank. In fact, several outfits could be completed under $100 from head to toe.
The George clothing line offers great size selection and the accessories are quite adorable as you'll see below. Lots of fantastic shoe options arriving soon! Here are a few of my favourite looks...
In an interesting marketing twist, Sears Canada has announced it will soon be carrying the Penningtons plus-size line in select stores this year. The change will see 4000 square-foot shops opening in locations such as Ontario's Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket and the Toronto Eaton Centre.
I have been using mesh produce bags for years. I bought mine from an independent online retailer who unfortunately, is no longer around. I assumed the company was put out of business because big chains started to make the bags cheaper. But I have to scratch my head because every time I check out of a grocery store — and I hit all the major ones — cashiers always comment on my bags like they have never seen them before. People in line comment that they are really cool.
Ricki's makes me happy, its clothing is a little bit of affordable deliciousness. As I have mentioned before, its line ranges in size from a 0-18. Why can't more stores do this? Why do many stores stop their sizing at a 12-14? Sigh. All the curvy girls I know love this store because it is one of the only outlets that makes clothing in that missing size range. Every time we get together, someone is wearing a new affordable piece from Ricki's. This in turn leads to the rest of us rushing out to buy it.
I love a good book. And when I am done reading, I love sharing my books with others. I am the person who gets excited at a cottage when I see the sign: Have a book? Leave a book. Want a book? Take a book. So, I was quite delighted when I discovered Little Free Libraries scattered across Toronto's Beaches neighbourhood. Picture quirky, adorable little houses — or libraries — posted outside people's homes with the purpose of sharing books. They just evoke a feeling of community.
I have just come from visiting the Change Lingerie store in the beautiful Shops at Don Mills and well, I am forever changed. I entered the store wearing a 40D bra and left with a 38H in my bag. No, my breasts did not grow while in the store — but my knowledge sure did!
Want to fall over laughing? Shake your head in wonder? Give yourself the best birthday present ever? Get a pen and a piece of paper and write your future self a letter. I started writing my future self letters in my late 20s. I had seen a character do this on a TV show years earlier and never forgot how cool I thought it was. I would write about what was happening in my life and what my dreams were at the time. Then I would write the date, time and location on the envelope, seal it and write instructions of when to open it.
I like accessories that tell a story. When you know the history of a piece all of a sudden the energy about it is different, the coolness factor is heightened and you look forward to spilling all the details when someone asks questions. When you want do a bag-brag, you've made a good purchase. So when I'm toting my upcycled totem bag and am asked about it, I excitedly launch into a mini presentation.