When we started Wish five years ago, it was our plan to bring you the very best of fashion, beauty, home and food – because busy, stylish women, like you and me, want to put our best foot forward every day. The editors and experts at Wish worked overtime to find the solutions, deals, shortcuts and options to help make life easier – I can’t tell you how much we’ve enjoyed every step of the way.
Our loyal readers also pushed us to give more. It’s hard to imagine our 20-Minute Supper feature without wine pairings, but it was Jane from Ottawa who first suggested it four years ago: “I just received the second issue of Wish in the mail and read it from cover to cover. Then I went back to the website. We just had the Pesto Chicken Pasta – it was great! Next time, could we have a wine recommendation with the recipe?” Since November 2004, every Wish 20-Minute Supper has been paired with a complementary beverage suggestion.
Which brings to mind all the reader recipes we’ve printed. More than 1,000 entries to our 20-Minute Supper contests have helped raise the bar at dinnertime for hundreds of thousands of Canadian households. And you can still join the club! To find a fresh recipe for every night of the week or to track down one of your favourites, check out wish.ca/20minute – we’re still going strong.
In our last issue of Wish, editors and experts have identified many easy ways and insider ideas to build more wellness into your routine. I don’t think it has to mean giving up our favourite treats, just finding a balance. So, as we suggest in the pages of our last issue: Feel great. Look great. Eat well. Sleep well. Exercise (even when you’re pressed for time). Never get sick. Whistle while you work. Smile at strangers. Laugh – just because! It’s time to kick-start the best year of your life.
Experts have told us this is the beginning of the end of many of our favourite things. The current economic climate has made it impossible for us to continue delivering all you’ve come to expect from us here at Wish. It is with sadness – and many fond memories – that I say goodbye on behalf of every Wish staffer, supporter and contributor. It has been our pleasure.
- Jane Francisco, Editor in Chief
Going through a reno myself, I find that guests will usually give you a free pass when it comes to a messy place. Bare walls, on the other hand, are an inexcusable faux pas. But art pieces that are attractive, original and inexpensive are hard to come by. That’s why I’m super psyched for Toronto’s Whodunit? Mystery Art Sale taking place November 22nd (a public preview of the art will be held from November 19th-21st). Presented by Orangina and the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD), the event promises over 1,000 original works of art from OCAD students and Canadian designers, celebrities and established artists. Each and every piece will sell for only $75, with proceeds going toward OCAD and its emerging artists. The twist? All of the art will remain anonymous until it is purchased on November 22nd!
Bonus: Admission for both the public preview and the art sale itself is free!
– Amy Thrasher, Editorial Intern
Whodunit? OCAD Mystery Art Sale, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto.
November 19 & 21, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
November 20, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
November 22, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
As you’re reading this I’m probably waiting in line at H&M to scoop up their latest designer collaboration by Comme des Garçons. The intellectually cool collection for men and women, designed by Rei Kawakubo, hits stores today (Nov. 13) and is sure to sell out fast. On my must-have list are the adorable CdG-signature, polka-dot shirts and the perfect black trench.
– Alison Lawler-Dean, Fashion Market Editor.
How would you react if I told you getting your teeth cleaned could be a relaxing and enjoyable experience? With awe and disbelief, I’m sure, but it’s the truth. Impressions, The Dental Hygiene Spa in Toronto’s east end, is revolutionizing oral hygiene. Where else can you sink your toes into a pair of plush slippers, sit by the fire and read a magazine or watch your favourite show while you wait for your appointment? If that’s not enough, you’ll enjoy a paraffin-wax hand treatment while you decompress in a massage chair. Regular checkups? Piece of cake. My hygienist will be seeing a whole lot more of me.
For all the goods, visit thedentalhygienespa.ca
-Kyle Gordon, Assistant Beauty Editor
The healthiest, quickest and easiest method of cooking just got even simpler with these Zip ’n Steam bags made for the microwave. No cooking oils or excess water needed. Just add some of your favourite mixed veggies, seafood, or even poultry to the bag, seal well and microwave according to instructions. We tested these wonder steamers ourselves on green beans and cauliflower, seasoned with salt and pepper, and were pleasantly surprised with the locked-in flavour and tenderness. Oh, and no pots to wash! Perk: Recipe ideas inside!
- Hannah Bank, Assistant Home & Food Editor
Ziploc Zip ’n Steam bags, $3 (pack of 10), available at mass retailers and grocery stores.
I recently stumbled upon Etcetera Media while shopping for a new laptop sleeve. My hope was to find something simple and streamlined, yet distinct from the sea of black nylon zip-arounds I’ve found myself wading in. The clean, contemporary style of Boston-based designers Kelly Smith and Chris Grimley caught my eye – their colourful line of bags and home goods are made by local craftspeople with thick, industrial wool felt. Each design has a distinct look and pleasant tactile appeal. In addition to my new laptop sleeve, I’ve also fallen in love with their loaf bowl – a large, reversible, dual-colour basket – perfect for cradling fruit, bread or anything else you want to display. Drop by etceteramedia.com and check out some of their other cool products (including a book box, coasters and a wine rack).
- Jasmine Li, Online Editorial Assistant
Loaf Bowl, about $75, Etcetera Media, available at Ziggy’s At Home, 794 College St., Toronto, 416-535-8728.
When those in the know in Toronto need their fine upholstery cleaned and cared for, they call a wonderful man named Don Davis. His company, Victoria & Co.: The Upholstery Cleaning Specialists, has been going strong for over twenty years and he’s definitely a well-respected expert in the field. Recently, Don went green, but he wasn’t happy with the products available on the market. So he developed his own. He often left them behind as a gift of appreciation for his clients, and they’ve been such a hit that he’s started to sell them online. Spot cleaners, odour neutralizers, cleaning super sponges, essential upkeep mists – all of his trade secrets are available in refreshing, natural scents and cute, old-fashioned-style packaging designed by his daughter, Francheska Davis. Our style director Catherine Franklin is a fan of the English lavender scent, my top pick is citrus peel. I use it on my sofa and bed linens – they’ve never been fresher or less wrinkled!
– Andrea Mills, Senior Editor, Home
Victoria & Co. Purifying Odour Neutralizer in citrus peel, $12 (240 ml), victoriacoproducts.com.
I practically had to pinch myself when I found Miu Miu, Michael Kors and Miss Sixty at deep discounts – and only a quick click away! Newly available to Canadian customers, overstock.com, the online American outlet, now ships north of the border. Shoppers are automatically geo-located so that prices are in local currencies (even adjusted for fluctuating exchange rates). Check out the Designer Store for big label accessories or peruse the Worldstock collection for handmade gifts, the sale of which benefits underprivileged artisans.
-Caitlan Moneta, Assistant Fashion Editor
Walking in through the delivery entrance, then past a service kitchen and down two flights of stairs to arrive at the Calvin Klein Secret Obsession fragrance launch certainly had me bewildered. It took me far more than a minute to register where I was. But the gated door and cavernous room finally revealed the secret location – a bank vault! And what a unique place it was! The below-ground vault was swathed in candlelight and decorated with delicate flowers and cut-crystal candelabras, creating a romantic and mysterious scene, which fit perfectly with the new scent. This latest fragrance from Calvin Klein is a fruity, floral take on the original oriental-based Obsession. It’s sexy and sophisticated and sure not to be kept secret from fragrance lovers for long.
- Alison Lawler-Dean, Fashion Market Editor
Secret Obsession Calvin Klein, $75 (50ml), department stores; drugstores, secretobsessioncalvinklein.com.
Homemade goodies definitely have that personal touch, but only last so long. Why not share your love of food by authoring your own cookbook? Maybe you have family recipes you’d like to share, or a friend that dreams of entertaining but doesn’t know where to start, or a loved one that struggles with weekday dinner ideas. The KitchenAid Cookbook Creator packages up to 20 of your favourite recipes in one attractive binder and organizes them by type. For $50 (plus shipping), the book includes colour photos and two complimentary Cook for the Cure “Pink” recipes. The cookbook takes four to six weeks to publish and deliver, so get started now! Check it out at kitchenaid.ca.
- Tory Healy, Senior Editor, Food
I envy those who are out cold seconds after their head hits the pillow. I’m the type that tosses and turns and battles it out with my duvet before finally drifting off – not exactly a formula for restful sleep. I’ll admit to being a bit skeptical when I was first introduced to the aromatherapy sleep collections at Bath & Body Works, but the scents were so comforting, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give them a try. After careful consideration, I settled on the Lavender Vanilla pillow mist – a sweet, soothing blend that melts away stress and tension. Call it placebo effect, but after two weeks of nightly use, I now feel calmer as I tuck in, and consistently wake up the next day feeling refreshed – quite an achievement for someone who abhors mornings. For those who prefer a more subtle scent, try the cinnamon-and-clove infused Warm Milk & Honey pillow mist – available for a limited time only. Sleep tight!
- Jasmine Li, Online Editorial Assistant
Aromatherapy Pillow Mist in Warm Milk & Honey and Lavender Vanilla, both $10, Bath & Body Works, bathandbodyworks.com.
I’m probably the biggest Halloween skeptic there is. Sure, it’s fun to get dressed up and it’s an excellent excuse to party, but decorating with the typical pumpkin and spider-web decorations year after year can get predictable. After finding these fabulously spooky accessories from Pottery Barn, I was inspired to shake things up and throw a dramatic, gothic Halloween party. The best part? Virtually no prep time. To set the Addams Family-esque mood, grab some black or deep red velvet from your local fabric store and drape it over the snack and bar tables. Place your everyday candle holders, or better yet a candelabra, with black tapers on top. Set up a drink-creation station with Halloween-candy garnishes (black licorice, puréed fruit, grapes and berries) and beverages (the alcoholic type). Complete it with these ghostly double-old-fashioned glasses. If you’re like me and eyeball martinis aren’t really your thing, leave the gory creativity to your guests.
- Emilie Dingfeld, Editorial Intern
Black taper candles, $15 (set of 8); skull double-old-fashioned glasses, $35 (set of 4); skull votive holders, $28 (set of 4); candelabra, $99, all from Pottery Barn,potterybarn.ca.
Smart Set has long been my resource for great tees and tanks, but it’s about to offer much more in terms of style. The stores have a brand new, boutique-like design and carry even more fashion-forward items, including an already successful denim collaboration with Parasuco and a new athletic line called Muv. But my favourite new addition to the stores has to be the change rooms – they've created little nooks for your bag, sunglasses and cellphone, to keep everything off the floor while you try things on – genius!
- Alison Lawler-Dean, Fashion Market Editor
Foxy Originals, a Toronto-based jewellery line, has partnered with cosmetic line Smashbox to create the ultimate beauty kit. This adorable, silver clutch comes loaded with Smashbox’s cult-favourite liner, mascara and shimmering shades for cheeks and lips, plus a signature Foxy silver pendant necklace on a triple-strand chain. While the gift-giving season may seem like ages away, I’m stocking up now before it’s too late.
- Kyle Gordon, Assistant Beauty Editor
Enchantress Beauty Kit, $45, smashbox.com.
A captivating lecture, fantastic apple-inspired dishes and wonderfully informative experts made the Ontario Apple Celebration at Toronto’s Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar especially scrumptious this season! Real-fruit place settings adorned each table, where Ontario apple growers imparted wisdom on the versatility and variety of our own apples. The fruit carries the rep of being a healthy snack and an ingredient that can be thrown into virtually everything – from decadent dishes like sweet-potato pancakes with apple-compote salad, to spreads like apple butter (my personal favourite). But I was also reminded that apples can function as a gift for your teacher, a traditional game (bobbing for apples), and a very popular decor prop! The best apples are local ones, so this season, grab yourself a bushel – you will undoubtedly find a way to use them all!
To learn more about Ontario apples, go to onapples.com, or bite into one yourself!
- Amy Thrasher, Editorial Intern