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 ChiefRead more »
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.Read more »
I know people THINK magazine editors do nothing but RSVP to party invitations and go on press trips to Reykjavik, but sometimes we stand around the water cooler (or espresso machine) and marvel at clever, clever publicity stunts, like this one pictured here. In an effort to help knock Stella Artois off its pedestal as the hipster lager of choice, Italy’s Peroni beer has opened a shop at 146 Bloor Street West in Toronto with a pop-up boutique “so exclusive, that it will invite consumers to window-shop only,” according to the press information. Emporio Peroni clearly targets the fashion crowd – the classic Italian blonde is the official beer of this season’s L’Oréal Fashion Week at Nathan Phillips Square. Watch for Peroni Nastro Azzurro at stylish nightspots and restaurants everywhere.
- Doug Wallace
Each year after Thanksgiving weekend, I turn my attention to the long, cold winter ahead of us. If you’re anything like me, you must be excited about that crisp chill sneaking into the air, and probably can’t wait to start wearing mitts again! No, I’m not crazy – it’s just that ski season is right around the corner, and as most enthusiastic snow bunnies know, the Toronto Ski, Snowboard and Travel Show is in town to signal the unofficial start of the 2008-2009 winter season. Besides being the ultimate place to get your gear in order for the first powder day, this year’s show is your chance to get a sneak peek of the incredible Peak 2 Peak gondola debuting at Whistler Blackcomb in December. Twenty-eight monstrous “sky cabins” (including two with glass floors – not for the faint of heart!) will be shuttling skiers and boarders across 4.4 scenic kilometres between the resort’s two peaks. Maximizing slope time just got a whole lot easier! Even if you’re not planning to head out west, drop by the show this weekend and see what over 100 resorts from all around the world have to offer. It’s time to get stoked for your winter vacation!
- Jasmine Li, Online Editorial Assistant
Toronto Ski, Snowboard and Travel Show, Oct. 16-19, 2008, $15 for adult admission, Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto.
Thursday: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Although I blame city weather and my newly-single status for causing recent breakouts, pointing the finger won’t make them disappear. But with so many different skin cleansers in stores, finding the right product seemed like another unnecessary chore. Luckily, I’ve been visiting Makeup Alley, an online database featuring actual user reviews of beauty and skincare products, rather than company-produced press releases. You have to sign up to use the site, but registration is free. Once registered, a plethora of skincare solutions awaits. Plus, comprehensive search options make browsing products a snap!
- Tasia Rivero, Online Intern
Check it out at makeupalley.com.Read more »
Stay tuned; product will be hitting shelves at Shoppers Drug Mart soon. For more information, visit db4wildaid.com.
- Kyle Gordon, Assistant Beauty Editor
Image courtesy of MAS Communications.Read more »
Taaz.com is a virtual makeover website that lets you upload a photograph of yourself and experiment with different makeup and hairstyles. As soon as my face popped up on the screen, I began to test out looks I would never have the guts to actually try. First I was a blonde with blue eyes (a complete contrast to my naturally darker complexion), then, with the program’s special “Plump Lips” feature, I tried on a pair of scarlet, full lips à la Angelina Jolie (which apparently don’t suit everyone). The fun definitely didn't stop there – the program offers advice on choosing colours, gives application techniques and tells you the exact brand and name of every product you select. If you’re ever thinking about changing your look drastically, “Taaz” yourself first.
- Alyse Nahmias, Fashion Intern
Check it out at taaz.com.Read more »
I’ll admit it: I’m pretty clueless when it comes to doing anything mechanical. I knew if I took my beloved bicycle apart, it would not be going back together (properly, anyway). So what to do? Enter the Bike Pirates, a group of bicycling enthusiasts who run a do-it-yourself shop in downtown Toronto. Volunteers are on hand to show you how to do repairs, and tools are provided. The Pirates also fix old, beat-up bicycles to sell fairly cheap, so if you’re looking for a new(ish) ride, this is definitely the place to go. Donations are welcome, but not necessary. The shop is currently open Thursday and Saturday afternoons.
- Tasia Rivero, Online Intern
Bike Pirates, 1292 Bloor St. W., Toronto, bikepirates.com.Read more »
Although I usually reserve Tuesday nights as my personal girl’s night in, I’m making an exception on September 23rd to check out the 13th annual Eat to the Beat – a gala fundraiser hosted by Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada. While mingling with over 900 other guests at Toronto’s elegant Roy Thomson Hall, I’ll get to sample culinary delights from 60 of Canada’s finest female chefs including Food Network TV personality Anna Olson, sip on stylish martinis from Pearl Pomegranate Vodka Martini Bar and if I’m lucky, score some sweet swag. It will be a pretty wonderful way to spend a Tuesday evening – all in support of a great cause. So why not join me?
- Laurie Jennings, Managing Editor
Eat to the Beat, September 23, 2008 at Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., Toronto. Tickets, $150 each, eattothebeat.ca.Read more »
For about a year I’ve been a member of an auto-sharing company – you book a car online, drive for however long you want, and are charged by the hour. It’s convenient but not all that cost-effective. Needless to say, I was very excited to learn about City Flitz – a new auto-sharing program that rents cars for only $1 per day. The catch? Cars are wrapped in a corporate sponsor’s logo (so you become a moving billboard) and you have to remain in the GTA (in order to reach the sponsor’s target market). The new auto-share has widely been received – over 1000 members have pre-registered in Toronto and there are plans to launch in Vancouver. To become a member, you must be 23 or older, hold a G licence and pay a one-time admin fee of $30, and a $350 security deposit that’s refundable when you discontinue membership. Once a member you have access to Mini Coopers and Clubmans as well as Smart cars that are all equipped with GPS and WiFi. Perfect for flitzing around town!
- Leah Weber, Home Market Editor
Check it out at cityflitz.com.Read more »
Feeling VIP at a posh hotel is difficult these days. Pseudo-celebrities and doormen with Napoleon complexes often make us feel more like the mosquito’s armpit than the bee’s knees. Enter the InterContinental hotel. A serious contender to swanky hotels in its glamorous Yorkville neighbourhood, it comes across as the younger sister who wasn’t asked to her prom, and therefore developed a personality. The little blunders in a hotel of its calibre – think CD players instead of iPod docks and the SkyLounge located on the terrain level – become adorable imperfections. Creating personalized packages for special sojourns is the InterContinental’s latest selling point. I loved “Dine Around the World” – an experience that includes a personalized, international dining itinerary and a $50 credit toward the aforementioned sky bar. The hotel’s affable executive chef Christopher Perera treated me to delectables like chocolate sushi, and it didn’t hurt that I stayed on a Thursday, when during summer and early fall the patio serves up grilled delights like scrumptious ginger-shrimp kebab and mini lamb chop for a mere $3 and $4.50 a pop. Back in my room, I wrapped up in the Hermès-orange blanket and drifted off feeling replete, urbane and very important, indeed.
- Nadia Litz, Editorial Intern
"Dine Around the World" package, from $215/night (double occupancy), InterContinental Toronto Yorkville, 220 Bloor St. W., (416) 960 5200.Read more »
When was the last time you ran a race in your underwear? If the answer is never, this is your chance. Throw on your boy shorts and sports bra, or if you’re feeling shy keep your tracksuit on, and participate in the raciest race in Canada. Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto and the Segal Cancer Centre in Montreal are hosting the Underwear Affair (racers have already undressed this summer in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton), an event designed to raise funds for cancers below the waist such as prostate, colorectal, cervical and ovarian. Participants of all ages and athletic abilities are encouraged to take part in the 10K run or 5K walk. The best part – other than helping fund life-saving research, of course – is once you cross the finish line, you can treat yourself to drinks at the Exposed Afterparty and enjoy some dancing – that is, if your legs don’t feel like spaghetti.
- Mila Kadelkova, Editorial Intern
Toronto Race: Saturday, August 23, 2008
Montreal Race: Saturday, September 20, 2008
Visit uncoverthecure.org for more information.
When I arrived at Toronto’s Nike Runner’s Lounge for its monthly media run, I expected to find a slick store brimming with jogging gear, athletic accessories and the latest in sporty techie toys. At the very least, I thought I’d be able to replace the pair of socks that I’d forgotten at home. No luck. There’s nothing for sale at this roomy, white hangout. The smiling staff are selling the concept of a running culture, and the space has everything to accommodate that – neighbourhood-specific running routes in various lengths, a seating area to stretch in or congregate with fellow joggers, water and snacks for pre- and post-workout fueling and lockers to secure your belongings. At the back, there is a multitude of Nike tops, running shoes and distance-clocking devices at your disposal – perfect for trying before you’re buying... just not there, of course.
– Julia LeConte, Assistant Editor, Copy & Research
P.S. Don't miss your chance to run with all of mankind on August 31st, as cities around the world host 10K races on the same day. Visit nikeplus.com to register for a town near you (Toronto's Nike Runner's Lounge will be the starting point for a large Hogtown contingent!).
Nike Runner’s Lounge, 1219 Yonge Street, Toronto, 416-944-2112; 140-510 Nicola Street, Vancouver, 778-786-7463.Read more »
The stretchy pants were out at a massive dinner at Preston’s Brasserie in the Loews Miami Beach Hotel last month, part of a Miami Spice press tour. Appetizers were served upstairs in a hospitality suite on the 17th floor as the sun went down over the famed, art-deco hotel strip. Irish-born Executive Chef Gordon Maybury, formerly of Fives restaurant at New York’s Peninsula Hotel, started us out with a smorgasbord of raw-fish delights – ceviche, sushi, oysters – all quite extraordinary. “Floribbean” fare continued downstairs with a seven-course meal that included a Bloody Mary sorbet in the lobster gazpacho, a zippy red snapper, the most flavourful organic green salad I’ve ever eaten (bar none), the signature apple/pomegranate ribs, a hot and spicy churrasco and, gulp, dessert.
The Loews is massive for South Beach (almost 800 rooms), yet that doesn’t seem to keep it from feeling quite cozy. Bonus: A new spa (underneath Emeril’s restaurant) still has that new-car smell.
– Doug Wallace, Deputy Editor
Preston’s Brasserie, Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Read more »
Recently, I was trying to source a rare bottle of Pinot from the exclusive Sine Qua Non winery in California as a special gift for my uncle, who’s a bit of an aficionado. The winery distributes by mailing list only, so I turned to the web for help and came across vinfolio.com. The site sells an impressive variety of hard-to-find wines (including some from Sine Qua Non), and even offers to source brands not listed – at a price, of course. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to expand their private cellar, and a great resource for the rest of us looking for a special occasion splurge.
Note: All wine purchased must be shipped to a licensed distributor in Canada.
-Sarah Rogers, Online Editor
Read more »
Amidst swirling rumours that Rogers Communications may begin carrying the Apple iPhone in Canada as early as this month, you might have already begun a countrywide search for the ultimate protective case – so you’re ready to roll when your gadget arrives. Well look no further! For years, in-the-know techies have been quietly guarding their goods with the InvisibleSHIELD. This crystal-clear, scratch-resistant film provides the toughest and most inconspicuous protection for your iPod/cellphone/PDA/camera/laptop – it literally is invisible after you put it on. Its claim to fame is that it was originally developed for protecting military helicopter blades from damage caused by dirt and debris at high speeds. Farfetched as that sounds, one look at these user-created YouTube videos had me convinced that InvisibleSHIELD would indeed do the trick. I’ve had my own iPod classic sheathed for nearly two years now, and I never have to worry when I throw it into my purse along with my keys.
- Jasmine Li, Online Editorial Assistant
Thanks to new gardening tools, I’ve been able to unsubscribe from the old adage “no pain, no gain.” Here are my top tool picks:
1. Harvesting and sharing the food you’ve grown is rewarding. The back-breaking job of turning the soil, not so great. Luckily, I’ve found the Leverage Cultivator (shown here). It tears through the soil with just the application of body weight. No twisting or lifting, just deeply aerated soil.
2. Another pain is having to thin plants after over-seeding. I tried Seed Spoons and what a difference they make! The two spoons each have two differently sized divets at their tips that pick up individual seeds. One-per-hole planting just got a lot easier.
3. Now, with my Hori Hori knife – a multi-purpose, Japanese garden tool – I’m ready for the onslaught of weeds and slugs. It makes easy work of transplanting – and mincemeat out of vines and weeds. It comes with a belt sheath, which I’ll be rocking this summer, like a back pain-free, gardening ninja.
- Tory Healy, Food Associate
Leverage Cultivator, $42; Seed Spoons, $3.95; stainless steel Hori Hori knife, $29, all available at Lee Valley Tools, leevalley.com.Read more »
This Canada Day, lace up your runners and get moving for Hbc’s annual Run for Canada fundraiser. The nationwide event helps raise funds for Canadian athletes, so they can go for the gold at this summer’s Olympic Games and other international competitions. Last year, Hbc raised over $2 million, with a long-term goal of $20 million by 2012. And with 15 cities participating this year, it’s easy to get involved. Sign up online at hbcrunforcanada.com or register at your local Hbc, Home Outfitters, Zellers or Designer Depot stores. Don’t sweat it! You don’t have to be as buff as our athletes to participate. This family-friendly event has courses ranging from one to 10 kilometres, so you’ll find the perfect pace to suit your stride.
- Natalia Ksiazek, Editorial Intern
With air travel getting more complicated, chaotic and compact, how nice to have Porter Airlines right at the doorstep of downtown Toronto. Flying to Ottawa, Montreal, Mont Tremblant, Halifax and Newark, the friendly little airline has reinvented civilized air travel. Besides not having to get to Pearson International, the benefits are multiple. Once you step off one of the shortest ferry rides in the world, it takes mere minutes to check in and there’s free coffee in the lounge, along with room to actually sit in a library-type carrel and work. Once on board the prop-powered Bombardier Q400s, you’ll find three more inches of legroom and actual glass glasses. Plus, unlike another airline I’m familiar with, the planes don’t smell like the inside of Grandpa’s hat. Visit flyporter.com.
- Doug Wallace, Deputy Editor
If anyone knows how to throw a party, it’s Richard Branson. Virgin Mobile launched its latest Canadian mobile contract, MyPlan, in Toronto last week, and I was lucky enough to get in on the excitement. My day began mid-morning at Yonge-Dundas Square where Richard and his entourage of Virgin Mobile soldiers kicked off the festivities. Known for his elaborate arrivals, Richard drove in on a military convoy with the Beatles hit Revolution blaring in the open air. After a short unveiling of the “no rip offs” calling plans, followed by confetti and roses, I was happy to get out of the freezing cold and find a seat in the press tent, where Richard talked more about the ins and outs of the new plans. Just when I thought things were wrapping up and I could hurry back to the Wish offices to warm up, in walked Gossip Girl hotties, Chase Crawford and Leighton Meester. The two talked about Virgin’s latest efforts to give back with its Common Cents program (customers can choose to have their phone bills rounded up and donate the extra cents to charity). Later that evening, fellow Wish intern Paul and I danced the night away, sipped champagne with Chase and Leighton, and nibbled on delicious appetizers at Virgin’s official launch party at the trendy nightclub Circa, with Sam Roberts onstage. Definitely a night to remember!
- Natalia Ksiazek, Editorial Intern
If you're still struggling to stick to your fitness resolutions I got the solution to get you on track. Boot Camp. I know it sounds intimidating, but I promise you it's not. In January, I signed up for the Best Body Boot Camp here in Toronto and I have been getting the best workout three days a week ever since. I've found boot camp to be better for me than the gym because it's a set appointment so there's more accountability and I like it better than a class because there's more one-on-one with the trainers and the workouts are so varied and intense. I'm having so much fun with the camp, and more importantly, I'm actually seeing results (my clothes are looser and my body feels tighter). Boot camp is an amazing way to kick-start your resolutions.
-Sarah Rogers, Online Editor
Find out about a boot camp in your area:
Best Body Boot Camp (located in Toronto)
Cardio Core Boot Camp (locations in BC, AB and ON)
Survivor Boot Camp (locations in BC, AB and ON)
Bikini Boot Camp (locations in BC and AB)
Toronto Adventure Boot Camp (located in Toronto)
Here it comes! All the money we spent in December with (sometimes) reckless abandon on:
a) Christmas presents
b) our stomachs or the stomachs of our friends
c) a thousand cab rides
d) February's sun vacation
has finally caught up with us with the arrival of January's Visa (or MasterCard, or Amex) bill.
Oh well, it's not like it doesn't happen every year, so no surprise. And there's no need to panic, because:
a) it happens every year without fail
b) it manages to get paid somehow (we hope!)
c) everything we spent money on was worth it (especially our stomachs!)
d) we're going to map out a budget and stick to it.
Here's how I'll attempt to keep my credit card in check, not just now but for the rest of the year:
a) Talk to my bank about consolidating debts into a neat little package, maybe in the form of a personal line of credit with a super-low interest rate
b) When I get the monthly statement for the line of credit, I'll pay the interest charged PLUS $100-$200 to keep the balance going down, down, down. Here's hoping this will more than cover the minimum payment due
c) Go ahead and use my credit card, especially the one that amasses travel points – I'll just pay the balance down to $0 every Saturday morning (try it!)
d) If I must carry a balance for something, I'll use the line of credit.
- Doug Wallace, Deputy EditorRead more »
The Gregory Calendar combines fun and function with its unique connect-the-dots concept. Rather than providing a picture to go with each month, this calendar presents a black page sprinkled with dots marked for each day of the month. The idea is, you connect one dot each day and then at the end of the month you see a picture emerge. This calendar makes staying organized fun for kids and adults alike.
- Sarah Rogers, Online Editor
Gregory Calendar, $44, inquisitivekid.caRead more »
– Rani Sheen, Copy Associate
Kodak Picture Kiosks are in Wal-Mart, Loblaws, PharmaPlus, Pharmasave and other locations. Read more »
– Sarah Rogers, Online Editor
Open-It Cutting Tool, $10, canadiantire.com. Read more »
An online tool for the obsessively organized (I admit it, I'm all signed up), giftiegiftie.com is a free web application that allows you and your friends and family to share Christmas wish lists online. Once you all register, you can start making your lists and you can reserve items on each others' lists to buy. You'll never give (or hopefully get) two of the same gifts again. And there's lots of room for details so you can be as specific as you want (you can even include a link to buy it online). No more guessing, get the perfect present every time.
- Sarah Rogers, Online Editor Read more »
Move over ebay, there’s a new site in cyberspace. The brainchild of Rob Kallin, painter, carpenter and photographer, etsy.com was launched as a means to reconnect buyers with sellers. Now in its second year, this online bazaar sells all things handmade and boasts over 60,000 sellers who offer everything from silk-screened tees and hand-printed cards to Lego earrings and clay robots. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, try searching for items by colour. You can even post a request in the forum for an item to be hand made just for you by one of the independent artists. Definitely worth a visit, the variety and creativity on this site surely won’t disappoint.
-Caitlan Moneta, Fashion Intern
Custom pencil urchin, $125, etsy.com.Read more »
Kids and grownups alike will not be able to resist this sweet and whimsical line of melamine plates from Jane Jenni. Featuring a variety of bright colours and fun designs, these unique plates will liven up any family dinner table. Choose a different design and personality trait for each of the little ones in your life. I'll be picking one out for each of my nieces and nephews. "Early bird" and "happy camper" are my personal favourites.
- Sarah Rogers, Online Editor
While this product has arrived on my desk a little too late for me (I've already fought my first cold of the season), I hope it's not too late for everyone else. Kiss My Face has released a Cold & Flu Room Spray that features aromatherapy scents to help soothe your sinuses and clear your head with an alcohol base that will kill all those nasty germs in the air. No, it's not a cure, but it may provide some much needed comfort and relief.
- Sarah Rogers, Online Editor
Kiss My Face Cold & Flu Room Spray, $9, visit kissmyface.com for retailers.Read more »
Everybody has an extra-curricular activity to keep them occupied during their time away from the office, and mine is working with The Magenta Foundation, a non-profit book-publishing house for the arts. Just the other day, my group met in the heart of Toronto’s financial district to unveil one of our latest creations, art-covered recycling bins featuring the photography of emerging talent from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Sponsored by EcoMedia and TD Bank Financial Group, these 16 different Magenta-coloured receptacles are almost too incredible for words. Check them out on a street corner near you until the end of October.
– Doug Wallace, Deputy Editor