What a fun weekend I’ve had…yesterday it was The Gem Expo and today – the National Women’s Show in downtown Toronto www.nationalwomenshow.com/toronto-visitor. I arrived around 10:30am at the Metro Convention Centre (south bldg) to find it was already jam-packed with visitors (see below), all enjoying the food samples, cosmetic freebies, fashion styling advice, home accessories, financial advice…all manner of information for the woman on the go. Join me as I take you on a virtual stroll along the aisles and meet some of the vendors who impressed me this year….The first booth to catch my eye was www.snobstuff.com who displayed these stunning candle covers, some of which were made into electric lamps, too.And although I was surrounded by bling yesterday, I still had time to stop by and admire these sparklies at www.ThePinkTreeCouture.com! I always have time for fudge! Here’s the lady from www.oldenglishfudge.com No wonder she’s smiling…it was deelish! I then met Anne of Anne’s Bespoke Cookie Delights, who bakes the most yummy cookies, all made to order including the “heart-pop” cookie on a stick (pictured below). She’s part of a bakers’ collective here in Toronto and she takes great pride in speedy deliveries for her cookie clients. www.caniwantsomeyummy.ca Next we have Veneise George who was sampling her Yawdi’s spicy marinades and jellies. www.yawdi.ca What a delight to meet designer Kaela Kay whose fashions incorporate many fabrics from her homeland, Ghana. Suck beautiful, vivid colours – perfect for brightening up the Toronto winter blahs! www.kaelakay.comThe NYDJ jeans lady told me just how comfortable they are to wear – you can tell from her smile she’s happy! They’re now available from The Bay, Nordstrom’s and other stores in Canada. And now…presenting the Laraglam Collection! Wow…every girl should have a sparkly blinged out bra like this, yes? Why not pick out your own at www.laraglam.com Meet the lady herself, Miss Lara (pictured above) who was just as sparkly as her collection and eager to share her designs with me. I’ll let her tell you all about her goodies herself…
Here’s Ashley from www.fashiontruckcanada.com. What a great idea – a movable feast of fab fashionable finds. Big shout-out to the women officers from Peel Regional Police who were on-site to promote careers in policing as well as do a little community relations work. Bravo, ladies, and thank you for your service.Look what I found – brand new drinkies for the health-conscious! www.CraftyElk.com takes fresh exotic fruits then blends them with vodka to make these three deelish drinks. Very low in sugar and certified organic. Mike, the fellow in red (below) is a fellow Aussie, so I just had to stop and try some…..OMG, so yummy. Available now at your local LCBO. Then Founder and CEO of Crafty Elk, Greg Gilliland, came by so I grabbed him for a quick interview….
Hic….hic! After imbibing several shots of my new fave drink, I turned the corner to find yet another great boozy booth, this time the folks at Wyborowa Vodka – the best ambassador Poland ever had! Look for it in your LCBO store or online at www.wybo.com The Lavish Bath Company was well represented at the show – just look at these fun “bubble bars”, soaps and their great Christmas gift ideas. www.LavishBathCompany.com Now for something hot’n’spicy – Cool Runnings Foods offered a wide selection of tastings featuring marinades, seasonings, mustards and more. Check out their full line at www.coolrunningsfoods.com and look for them in your grocery store. The ladies at the www.TKFursAccessories.com booth were so welcoming … and fun! And owner Tina Koumandaros (pictured below on the left) is generously donating 10% of net sales to support CAMH for mental health research. Bravo, Tina! According to the TK ladies, fuzzy furry balls (pictured above) are the hottest purse accessory for young fashion-fwd women and they certainly brought a great selection to the show.
Glow Academy – school of professional artistic beauty – was well represented and visitors got to sit down and have a fab make-up make-over! If you’re interested in learning more about a career in beauty, check out their website www.glow-academy.ca I’m always interested in learning about anything therapeutic for horses or dogs andI ran into Lisa Vandenberg (below left) a doTERRA Wellness advocate and owner of www.hopeandhealingways.com. She offers essential oils for use on equines, dogs and cats. Her colleage, Koon Fu Lee (lower picture) also works with dogs, healing thru various therapies and using Kangen Water which helps detoxify your furry friends. Find out more at www.waterandhealth.ca www.natures-source.com had a huge booth offering all sorts of effective natural alternatives to pharmaceutical potions for healing and supporting health deficiencies. I’m definitely going to check them out for help with my gut (been on Nexium for too many years) as well as my allergies and asthma. Ship ahoy! Here’s Capt. Matthew Flinders (any good Aussie will know who he was) who was promoting Mariposa Cruises. I was aboard the Capt. Matthew Flinders boat when it was first brought to Toronto’s Harbourfront many years ago, and during the summer months, I frequently play hooky and take a quick mid-week harbour & island cruise on their little boat, the Oriole, just to clear my head and get away from the loud traffic noises at Yonge & Bloor. Always a lot of fun and very affordable. www.mariposacruises.com Time for a quick nibble and I was lured into the KFI booth by the fragrant aroma of curry! Yummmmm. You can purchase their deelish sauces from your grocery store or check out their products at www.kfisauces.com And speaking of spicy…I found my new food addiction – SHANA Foods naan and samosas! www.shanafoods.com I even got to dance with the friendly SHANA booth staff, too! Bhangra music anyone?
Now for a little beauty treat for myself…big thank you to Lynn Cartwright, N. American Business Mgr of Gold Collagen, which will soon be available in Canadian pharmacies. www.gold-collagen.com offers all sorts of wonderful face tightening, hydrating and detoxing masks and serums and Lynn and her colleagues gave me some samples which I will definitely be using. Here’s Lynn (above left) who is a brilliant walking billboard for her product.
And speaking of beauty, these handsome fellas are from Rodan+Fields which offers life-changing skin care in a variety of products (perfect for my aging outer layers…LOL). I met consultants Bill (left) and John Joseph (right) last year at the Nat’l Women’s Show, just before they headed off to Australia to intro the products to that int’l market.Here are some of the Rodan+Fields products – check their website for info at www.holygrailforskin.com I’m all for learning more about wealth mgmn’t and investing, and you couldn’t ask for a friendlier team than the gang at the Edward Jones booth. Like most freelancers, I fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to money (just try getting paid on time each month by clients…urgh!) so I’m sure they can offer me some great advice for retaining and growing at least a small investment portfolio – I really need some serious $s for that old folks home in my near future LOL! www.edwardjones.caAnd while we’re on the subject of ageing, I was pleased to see this booth promoting in-home assistance to those suffering with dementia and Alzheimers. It’s a US-concept that has now come to Canada. You gotta check out services they offer to assist and enrich the lives of our elderly loved ones. www.SeniorHelpers.ca So I was finally pooped out…exhausted…after two and a half hours of walking the aisles and ready for home and a cup of my favourite Lapsang Suchong tea. I hope you like this virtual visit to the National Women’s Show here in Toronto – hope to see you there next year. Here are a few more sights from the last day of the show.