My Meeting With Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Giving Up Gucci For Some Fiscal Responsibility

My Meeting With Gail Vaz-Oxlade

It's no secret that I love to shop and spend a lot of money on things. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to you that I am also in debt. I know, hard to believe right? How can someone who uses a credit card for purchases and doesn't look at price tags be in debt? Shocking, but true. When Erica asked if I wanted to interview Gail Vaz-Oxlade (the money-maven Gail Vaz-Oxlade!) I had to say yes. I am without a doubt someone who needs help financially, and I fit the description of "Princess" to a T. The night before my interview, my mom and sister were watching an episode of Til Debt Do Us Part, and were saying how badly I needed to be on that show. Well, I think Princess is a much better fit for someone like me!

The show Princess is now in its second season, having just premiered on Monday, October 17th. (It's on every Monday at 8 p.m. on Slice.)

I told Gail about how much I love shopping, and how I have a hard time saying no to my children, and she told me: "Yup. You're a Princess!" She warned me to be careful, because I was raising "Princesses", too. She offered a suggestion that would make shopping with children easier: give them a weekly allowance, and when you're about to go shopping, ask them to bring their money IF they plan on buying something. She also told me to learn how to say NO. (I'm working on in Gail, I promise!) Deliver the message to your children, because everything you do is a lesson to them.

"Be consistent," Gail told me, "Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't threaten, and then cave."

Gail also said that sometimes shopping can be used for substituting stuff in a person’s life. For example, we talked about how I love to shop, but that I also love to write. Shopping is just a superficial high, she told me, whereas writing is a positive experience. "We need to stop measuring ourselves by our stuff," she said. Rather than shopping, we can fill our lives with other things—volunteering with children or at an old age home, learning how to cook, or visiting the library. "Do something purposeful that feeds your soul."

Gail's no-nonsense attitude was seen first-hand at Blissdom Canada last week, as well, where she sat on a panel and made everyone in the audience laugh. Afterwards, when we met, she asked if I carry a balance on my credit card. When I looked at her like a deer in headlights, she said someone had to nominate me to be on her new show.

Seriously, with debt at record high, and with so many of us not knowing how to live with financial accountability, "Princess" is a must-see show this fall. From budgeting 101 to bursting the bubble that credit cards are free money (I know, that hurts to hear, doesn't it?) Gail helps people change their bad habits. And I for one need all advice I can get.


What to Pack For BlissDom Canada

Don't Stress. Seriously.

What to Pack For BlissDom Canada

BlissDom Canada is just around the corner, literally - by Thursday of this week, we'll all be in Toronto attending one of the biggest blogging and social media conferences in Canada.

Nothing to stress about, right?

Seriously, though. There is nothing to stress about, especially what to wear and what to pack in your suitcase.

You don't need to buy an entire new wardrobe to have a good time. In fact, here's a little secret: I've worn the same LBD (little black dress) to three blogging conferences already. And I actually plan on wearing this dress again this time around. That's the beauty of a good LBD - it's timeless and can be worn over and over again!

While it doesn't matter what you wear (just as long as you are there) why not go through your closet and pack your favourite dresses? And if need be, go buy a new pair of shoes. (See, I just gave you an excuse to go shopping - you're welcome.)

Since the conference is only three days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) you don't need to over-pack. Trust me on this - if you leave room in your suitcase, you can go shopping. And you won't have to stay up until 4 a.m. trying to figure out a way to fit in all the swag you've received, which is what happened to me at both BlogHer conferences.

Here's my list of what to pack for BlissDom Canada:

Travel Outfit - Always travel in something comfortable. I always wear a favourite pair of jeans, a comfy t-shirt, and a sweater. I usually get cold on the plane, or on the train, so bringing a sweater is very important! As for shoes, wear something comfortable, or pack a pair of flats or flip flops in your purse, just in case your feet start hurting.

Daytime Outfits - For the day, you'll be attending sessions, going to the expo hall to connect with brands and companies, and hanging out with friends. What should you wear? Something casual, but professional. Of course jeans are a yes - with a nice top, and boots, or heels. Jeans, a white t-shirt, and a blazer always work well for the day, as well as black pants and long sleeved shirt. If skirts or dresses are more your thing, wear that! Wear something you feel good in - if you feel good in what you're wearing, you're going to shine!

Pack three daytime outfits, and remember sleep attire and all your toiletries.

Evening Outfits - I plan on wearing a LBD to the opening party at CBC, and the events taking place before the opening party - I'm going to dress it down with a pair of knee boots and change into a pair of more fancy heels for the party later on. One LBD can be worn so many different ways!

Throw in another two dresses or dress pants and nice tops along with another pair of shoes (or two, or three) and you're all set.

Of course, this is BlissDom Canada, so you're also going to need a costume for the annual costumes and karaoke party. Even if you're not planning on going all out, throw on a wig, wear some glitter, and have fun!

Other things to remember - Don't forget your business cards, chargers for your phones and laptops, and any purses you may need other than the one you're carrying. Snacks for your hotel room is a great idea - and your roommate will thank you!

Cheers, everyone - have a blast at BlissDom Canada!


LaCoupe Mega Hair Care Product Giveaway!

The Right Products For Your Hair Type

LaCoupe Mega Hair Care Product Giveaway!

When I was approached to try out and write about LaCoupe hair care products, I said yes enthusiastically. I take my hair very seriously! Yes, I am hair obsessed. I am the girl at the hair salon once a week getting a blow-dry. When I'm not at the salon, I'm at home trying out new products to see if they actually work, are good for my hair, and smell yummy.

LaCoupe was created in 1983. It was developed for people who wanted more from their hair care regimen. Founder Charles Booth understood that woman wanted to keep up with the trends and have great hair without breaking the bank. Does he know us or what?

I was given a basket full of hair products from LaCoupe to test out: LaCoupe Volume Hair Spray, LaCoupe Volume Mousse, LaCoupe Perfect Curls Frizz-free Mousse, LaCoupe Hair Plumper Thickening Cream, LaCoupe Thermal Straightening Spray (to be used with a flat iron) LaCoupe Root Lift Spray, LaCoupe Frizz-Control Curl Contouring Creme, and LaCoupe Perfect Curls Pumped Up Spray. It was an amazing package to receive, so I went to work testing all the products throughout the last few weeks.

This is what’s important to me when it comes to my hair products: it has to smell good, it can’t weigh my hair down, and it has to do what it’s supposed to do! Having used many of the big name high end products out there, LaCoupe didn’t disappoint. My hair was more shiny, soft and healthy-looking. I even had compliments about how great my hair smelled, too!

The LaCoupe hair care collection has products for all hair types and needs. I always like big hair with lots of volume and big loose curls. When I used the LaCoupe products, those were the results I got.

The thing I love the most about LaCoupe? They are salon quality products that are totally affordable for YOU. It’s great that there is an entire line of hair products out there that Canadians can afford. You can look your best without spending an arm and a leg! Isn't that great news?

Now, guess what? I have a huge giveaway for you! LaCoupe has generously offered up a basket of their hair care products to give to one of my lucky readers! This basket is worth $200! Here’s what’s in it:

Volume Fix Hairspray
Amplify Volume Shampoo and Conditioner
Rootblast Spray
Bounce Perfect Curls Shampoo and Behave Perfect Curls Conditioner
Define Curling Lotion
Control Frizz-control cream
Frizz-Free Perfect Curls Mousse
Nutrieve Colour Shampoo and Quench Colour Conditioner
Replenish Colour Treatment
Thermal Flat Iron Spray
Thermal Blow Dry Cream
ORGNX ReNourish Shampoo and Conditioner
ORGNX ReBalance Shampoo and Conditioner
ORGNX EnHance Shampoo and Conditioner
ORGNX Moringa Oil Complex
ORGNX Moringa Cream Treatment
ORGNX Revitalize leave-in Conditioner
ORGNX EnRich Treatment

Here’s how you can win this basket:

No matter your hair type - and I suffer from frizzy, over-processed, curly, dry hair - LaCoupe has the product for you. To win the $200 gift basket, leave me a comment below by November 4th telling me what your hair type is!

PLUS... not only is LaCoupe giving this $200 gift basket (seriously, you'll never want to leave the bathroom - you'll be so busy trying all these awesome products!), they also want you to win up to $500 in Visa gift cards!

So, once you’ve left your comment below to win the gift basket, go enter this one too...

To win: Upload a picture of your best or worst every day hair moment. Contest runs until November 18, 2011. So what are you waiting for? Go enter their fabulous contest!

This blog is proudly sponsored by our friends at LaCoupe


Yummy Rules and Regs for Basket Giveaway: You must be a YummyMummyClub.ca member to win. Click to sign up! It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until November 4, 2011. Contest open to Canadian residents. Winners will be picked using www.random.org.