Monday, July 30, 2007


No, it’s not a typo and don’t ask me how to pronounce it. YZZA is a new division of Liz Claiborne. Their mandate is to carry good quality clothing made of cotton (or mostly cotton) and nothing in the store is priced at over $100. Right now they are offering 30% off already reduced summer merchandise.
While not impressed when I first saw the store, once inside I ended up with armfuls of items I wanted to try on. LOVED the fact their XL size actually looks and fits like an extra large. The sizing runs XS-XL or 4-18, so women of all shapes and sizes can find something that will fit them. They carry t-shirts, shells, blouses, pants, skirts and dresses as well as some accessories such as earrings, necklaces and handbags.
The dressing rooms aren’t big, but they are very clean, have a sufficient number of hooks and a mirror inside. Imagine that, you actually don’t have to leave the dressing room to admire your reflection, in front of a bunch of strangers!
YZZA offers a loyalty program. A salesperson will sign you up on the spot, if you wish, and give you a ‘Y Card’ right away. Every time you make a purchase at YZZA you present your card and collect 1 point for every dollar spent before taxes. Once you have accumulated 300 points, they mail you a $15 gift certificate. The card can also be used for 10% of any purchase during the week of your birthday (you must present your Y Card and proof of birth).
I did purchase a lace cotton blouse in a beautiful turquoise colour and a white t-shirt covered in a silver metallic floral print. I will definitely be making many return visits to check out new stock, to see if some of the items I tried on get marked down even further and to keep my eye on a really great top that I’m not quite convinced to pay full price for, but it did show “the girls” off really well. My only complaint is their website needs a lot of work. It doesn’t really show much in the way of the clothing they carry.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Marlborough's Stationery Inc.

Marlborough’s is a stationery store and more. When you first walk in, there is a small selection of children’s toys. My favourites are the brightly coloured Stephen Joseph rubber coin holders with animal faces on them for $2.79 and the hand painted wooden puzzles by Melissa & Doug. Their Fresh Start Peg Puzzles are on sale for $5.99.
The stationery part of the store contains such things as cards, good quality pens (the type that come in their own case and are kept locked behind glass), notebooks, daytimers and some craft supplies. Check out the Stabilo high-lighters in the funky Swing Cool Pacific line. They have some party supplies and their dinner and cocktail napkins, in a range of colours and sizes, are on sale for $2.99 - $3.99.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

HATS (& bags)

KC's Hats is located at St. Lawrence Market in the south building; right inside the Jarvis St. entrance. All of these great hats are hand made by milliner David Dunkley. He also makes bags that are the perfect size for carrying your things to work or toting items to the beach. You can have a tote made to match your hat if you so desire. Custom hats can be made for those who are hard to fit or have a special occasion to attend. David also creates customized head wear for brides looking to wear something other than the usual tiara or veil on their special day. Make sure to check out his fabulous line of cocktail hats while you're there. KC's fall/winter 2007 collection is now available. You must check out the cloche hats with silver work and ribbon flowers.
A hat created by David Dunkley and Margret Donnelly for graduating Ryerson University fashion student designers Natasha Ferro and Diana Peters' was featured in the "...coveted position of [Holt Renfrew's] main entrance area" on Bloor Street!
St. Lawrence Market, 92 Front St E, lower level

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Time for Tea

I am not a coffee drinker. I can’t stand the smell of freshly brewed coffee, especially first thing in the morning. I don’t like anything coffee flavoured, OK, I do like Coffee Crisp. When I say I don’t drink coffee people assume that it’s because of the caffeine and then they start to ramble on about how tea has way more caffeine than coffee. As soon as I tell them I don’t like either the taste or the smell, they immediately clam up.
I’m a tea drinker. I take it strong, hot and with a decent amount of skim milk in it. I enjoy different varieties of tea, but not herbal ones. Green tea is fine from time to time and I have to be in the mood for Earl Grey.
Say Tea has something to make any and all tea drinkers happy. Most of the tea they sell (their own brand) is loose leaf, but they do offer some bagged tea. Most recently they have been offering ‘Tea to Go’, which just means you can buy a single cup of tea to enjoy during or after your visit.
I try to visit their Bloor Street West location at least 3-4 times a year to stock up. On my most recent visit their front window was decorated in a Teddy Bear’s Picnic theme with two huge stuffed bears sitting at a picnic table “having tea”.
Of course, any store that sells tea usually sells tea accessories/accompaniments and Say Tea has a great selection of these. Amongst the tea pots, tea cups, mugs, tea strainers, miniature tea sets and tea cosies you will also find preserves, gourmet cookies, fancy sugar cubes, chocolate covered caramels, greeting cards from Warm Fuzz Cards, and teddy bears. They also had a few items I'd never seen before. Check out the Bodum cosies and cup wraps by Honeysuckle Cottage Sales (and their travel tags).
I like that you are able to buy sample packages so you can try a few teas out without having to invest a lot of money and then find out you don’t like them. Say Tea has their own brand of bagged tea in sample packs - 5 bags for $1.50 or you can get 10 bags of Taylors of Harrogate tea for $3.50. They also carry boxes of bagged tea by Barry’s and T of H’s Yorkshire Gold (my fave!) They also have a lovely selection of Rooibos teas you should try.
Oh yeah, as I was paying for my purchase I noticed they are now selling coffee. Let's hope it doesn't take over.
located at 2362 Bloor St W and 2496 Yonge St

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jolanta Interiors

You will find gourmet kitchen wares, unique glassware and contemporary home accents in this small but well stocked store with a European flare. Jolant Interiors is an authorized Alessi dealer, carries Lampe Berger and is the sole distributor of Universal Stone. They have a great selection of amber rings and their silver jewellery is 20% off right now. Before you get to the jewellery though, you have to make it past the wall of kitchen gadgets such as olive spoons, seafood forks, ladels, peelers, pitters and the item that caught my eye - the tea bag squeezer.
The colourful aprons with matching oven mitts and pot holders would make excellent house warming gifts. Their bakeware section is small but well stocked. Their pineapple upsidedown cake pans are on sale for $29.95 (regular $45.95) and they turn out six mini pineapple-shaped cakes. There's a lot to look at in this quaint store, but if you take your time you'll find little gems like the glass frog and butterfly magnets for $0.75.
located at 2368 Bloor Street West ( coming soon)

Quipus Crafts

Jewellery, Home Accents, Pottery, Furniture is what it says on the Quipus Crafts sign, but they sell much more than that. The silver jewellery is beautiful and so are the amber earrings. This is a great store to pick up unique or whimsical gift items. Some of the itmes that would make great gifts are lamps, hooks and necklace holders with dress and purse themes, business card cases, wind chimes, placemats and napkin holders, and my favourite - GelGems. While gift shopping, make sure to treat yourself to a colourful, hand crafted tote bag or purse.
Don't forget to check out their patio in the back for cute garden itmes.
located at 2414 Bloor Street West

Friday, July 20, 2007

Old Fashion Fun

Polka Dot Kids carries toys of a different kind for infants and toddlers. Nothing you purchase from this store will require batteries. What will you find? Arts and crafts style mobiles, toy food made from colourful fabrics (such as pancakes & doughnuts with sprinkles), animal stamps and ink pads, a small selection of books and wooden toys. They do have a small rack of clothing as well as bibs, booties and bags. Little ones will love the cute, plush animal rattles and musical animals by Trousselier Paris (after clicking on the link, scroll down to the giraffe rattle). But my favourite items were the bumble bee and cow by What could be more fun then riding around on your own little bug mobile?!
917 Queen St West

Free Movies

Beginning Tuesday June 26th, free movies are being shown at Yonge & Dundas Square. The theme this summer is Futuristic Flicks. Everything from the 1956 classic Forbidden Plant to The Minority Report. Movies start at sunset so bring your lawnchair, lots of snacks and enjoy! Free movies will run from June 26th until August 28th. Check out to see what's playing each week.

Monday, July 16, 2007


ENDS is a discount clothing store that is always an adventure. Some days you walk away empty handed, other days your arms are so laden down with great deals you can barely see your way to the check-out counter. They carry a large selection of women's clothing but some of the best deals can be found in the men's "section". Occassionally they will have a rack or two of children's clothing. Right now is a great time to pick up summer essentials. Some of the deals on women's items - Jantzen two piece swimsuits sizes 12 and up $9.99; golf shirts $5.99, Levi's capris $11.99, tank tops for $5.00, Hush Puppy anklet socks pkg of 6 for $9.99.
In the men's department - golf shirts $3.99, t-shirts $1.99, short sleeve shirts $1.99, Misty Mountain skater shorts $19.99, assorted other shorts $12.99; Perry Ellis sport jackets for $59.99!
Some other good finds: Haviana flipflops $12.99; girls bathingsuits $6.99; good quality bath towels $9.99.
1930 Queen St E (and other locations)
PS: don't forget to check out their store 2 doors down that carries women's designer label clothing at reduced prices.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Books Magazines Vidoes

BMV is the place to go for gently used books, DVDs, comic books and magazines; and yes, they do carry movies in VHS format. You can pick up paperbacks for as low as $3.99 and DVDs start at $8.99. Not all of the books are second hand, there’s a large number of over-runs, but the books that are second hand are in excellent shape and most of them look like new.
Their selection of books ranges from fiction and chic-lit, to history, art and self help. Upstairs is where you will find shelf upon shelf of sci-fi and comic books as well as children’s books. This is an excellent place to buy reasonably priced DVD box sets of such popular TV shows as The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City, Stargate SG-1 and many more.
2289 Yonge St, north of Eglinton

(other locations: 10 Edward St & 471 Bloor St W)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I love this place. They have modern furniture that looks good and is back and butt friendly. None of that stuff that looks great but you’d never want to sit on it for more than a minute. What you’ll find here are sofas and chairs designed with simple, clean lines and upholstered in wonderful fabrics. Most of the sofas are available in three sizes – love seat, standard and condo size. The selection of upholstery fabrics and colours are endless. The staff are very helpful and extremely knowledgeable about where the furniture is made, how it’s made and with what materials. They are happy to take customized orders.
I’m a big fan of chandeliers and Pavilion has them in different shapes and sizes with the unique touch of being enclosed in either rectangular or drum shaped organza shades. If new furniture is not in your budget, there is always an interesting selection of tealight holders, throw pillows and vases to choose from.

739 Queen Street W (west of Bathurst)

Pretty Paper

Essence du Papier has 75% off selected items. Unlike some stores, the selection of discounted items includes more than one or two things. Choose from single sheets of gift wrap or writing paper, boxed invitations and announcements, gift bags, bows, organizers, and notebooks. Other items to check out (but not on sale) are packages of facial tissue printed in a variety of designs such as flowers, animals and toile prints, embellishments for gifts or cards, note cards and their customized invitations.
2476 Yonge St, north of Eglinton (and other locations)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

And So It Begins

It may only be the second week of July, but most stores End of Summer Sales are in full swing. In another four weeks, stores will be receiving their early fall merchandise and displaying racks of winter coats. Six weeks after that every stylist and editor will be heading to Europe to attend the shows of designers previewing their Spring/Summer 2008 collections.
Now is a great time to stock up on summer basics such as t-shirts, tank tops, shorts and flipflops to carry you through the rest of summer or to kick start your summer wardrobe next year.

Living Lighting is having their storewide summer clearance event. Sale ends August 19th.

Aldo Accessories - get 2 items for the price of 1 on selected merchandise. Check out the new line of purses/bags for fall; they're not on sale but worth the look.

Laura/Larau Petite/Laura Plus are having their mid summer sale with items up to 60% off.

Cleo is having their Beath the Heat sale with tank tops priced at $9.99, t-shrits for $16.99, selected tops/blouses for $19.99 and they have a section of already reduced items that are an additional 50% off. My friend bought some really cute cotton shells for $10 each!

Ricki's has pants and skirts for $29.99 and under. You have to look for the other sale items as the racks do not have a "sale" signs on them. But your search will turn up camis for $7.99, tank tops for $9.99, cute cotton sleeveless blouses starting at $14.99. They also have select jewellery buy 1 get 2 free.

Aldo has flip flops and canvas slip-ons for $19.95; sparkly thong sandals and regular sandals starting at $19.95; purses for $19.95 and $29.95. Don't forget they also carry men's shoes and have many styles on sale as well.

Smart Set has button front t-shirts in an array of colours for $4.99; hair accessories buy 2 get the third free; v-neck or round neck t-shirts for $7.99. They've just begun their buy 1 get 1 free on already reduced merchandise sale.

H&M has selected items up to 50% off and a few racks of (mostly) dresses that are 2 for 1. Also check out the new shoes they've received for fall - not on sale but now is the time to get your size!

LaSenza has selected bras on sale for as low as $8.50, they also have a good selection priced at $16.50; panties can be had for 3/$10 or 5/$25; pajama tops and bottoms are two for $34 and they have some great lounge sets for $19.50.

At Excetera Accessories everything is buy 2 get the third item free. Choose from their selection of earrings, necklaces, shoes, flipflops, belts, purses, headbands or hats. (416-204-9639 for locations)

Reitmans has selected merchandise up to 70% off. T-shirts for $6.99, assorted tops priced at $14.99 and capris for $19.99.

Town Shoes has select summer styles up to 50% off.

Bentley's end of summer sale has select bags at up to 60% off and 20% off luggage sets.

Fairweather has tank tops and regular tops for as low as $10; flipflops and thong sandals are two pairs for $15; select summer dresses priced at $19.99.

Cotton Ginny has up to 50% on selected items; flipflops 2 pairs for $9.99 and cotton sarongs for $7.99.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Find Your Type

TYPE books is a great change from the regular, huge bookstores. Just because they're small doesn't mean they don't cary all the newest releases or the most popular titles and authors. You can find everything from thrillers, murder mysteries and chic lit to art books and cook books. They have a good selection of magazine from Canadian, American and European publishers. The staff is very friendly and are willing to help you find what you're looking for.
Their childrens section (for babies to teens) is filled with classics and childhood favourites as well as new titles. Nestled in amongst the shelves of books are Sandy John's Little Zoo leather animals, that just call out to be touched and hugged. Little kids and big kids alike will enjoy the finger puppets of such notable figures as Freud, Frida Kahlo and Gandhi.
My favourite items, due to their usefulness and small price tag, are the scented pencils. They come in yummy flavours like rootbear, orange, chocolate and cinnamon.
Don't forget to check out the art gallery downstairs before you leave.
Located at 883 Queen St W

Brazen Hussy

Beyonce wannabes this place is for you! They even have a photo of Destiny's Child wearing Brazen Hussy dresses hanging in the store.
A relative new comer to Queen West, Brazen Hussy opened in April 2007.
Their sexy summer dresses are perfect for partying pool side (preferably in LA) and their tiny, colourful bikinis are a must for those who are bootylicious. I was tempted to buy an I heart Brazen Hussies t-shirt, because really, who could resist?
Definately check out the unique and beautiful jewellery by Josie Tecson to complete your new outfit or any outfit for that matter.
Located at 863 Queen St West

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


When you first enter Châtelet you should make sure to look up. What will you see? Chandeliers, chandeliers and more chandeliers. This shop is one of my favourite stops along Queen West just for this reason. I would have a chandelier in every room if I could and with the great selection Châtelet carries, this dream could one day become a possibilty. I'm also intrigued with their selection of drawer pulls. They have beautiful glass and ceramic drawer pulls in all shapes and sizes.
The white painted wood furniture has a homey, French country look and the handmade lampshades would add a touch of whimsy to any room. For bathing beauties there are bath products from Nougat London (love the girly packaging) and shea butter soaps from Lothantique.
If you take your time while looke through the store, you will come across little "gems" like Risque Ladies of the Theatre playing cards and the Cinderella Card Game. Châtelet is the store to satisfy the girly-girl in everyone. 717 Queen St W

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Dog Days of Summer

Timmie Doggie Outfitters is a boutique for the discerning pooch that also offers spa services. Even though I don't own a dog, I was fascinated by all the products this store offers. Their selection of collars and leashes was one of the best I've seen. They're available in all sorts of colours, as well as sparkles, metallics and studded. The selection of dog coats is just as varied and they also carry doggie life jackets and neoprene suits.
Don't forget to treat Rover to a home made dog cookie from the "bakery" counter after you've purchased him a squeaky or chewie from their cute and colourful collection of toys. I loved the little ceramic treat jars, available in both cat and dog "patterns" and was happy to see they carry a small selection of cat toys.
The most eye catching item in the store was OPI's Pawlish - Colors for nails. . . for those with tails. I kid you not.
Located at 867 Queen St W