Meet Our Team: the baby edition *with a prize!*

You’ve met our whole team over the past few months and now we have a challenge for you. We’ve dug through the photo archives (back when photos were printed on paper, not stored on computers), and pulled out shots of ourselves when we were in diapers.


Your challenge: Guess which chubby face belongs to which gal on the fourth floor. You’ll win tickets for two to an upcoming Canadian Stage production.


How to enter: Email your guess with the whole team matched up to the right baby to
carly.intern [at] rockitpromo [dot] com.


This first correct guess wins. Go!

 Our team: Carly, Rachelle, Christina, MichelleDebraLisaAlana, Lara and Abby







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What’s in Your….Shower Stall?

On most mornings, our alarms go off, we hit snooze once (okay, twice), then shuffle over to shower. Being an office full of ladies, we love talking products, from the latest leave-in conditioner to the body butter discovered while travelling. 

Here some of the products we gotta have when we’re lathering up and getting ready to tackle the day.


Alana:
The top thing I have in my shower is a comb. Brushing my wavy hair once it’s dry will take out the waves, so I comb in the shower to get the knots out. I love Goody’s Curl Wide Tooth Comb and Lift

Next is a good shower gel and loofah. Sephora’s Vanilla Cupcake body wash smells amazing and makes my skin nice and smooth.


Dove unscented soap is always in our stall. It doesn’t irritate and I can also wash my face with it. I get tons of free shampoo, so as long as it lathers, I use it. 



And I always have a very good deep conditioner for my hair. Aveda and Matrix Biolage are my go-to’s.


I have a million wonderful and girlie products all around my bathroom that help keep me clean, soft and pretty (many of them from gift bags). 

These are the staples that I use up and replace often: Dove Revive Body Wash, MoroccanOil Restorative Hair Mask, Victoria’s Secret Coconut Passion Hand and Body cream from the Secret Garden Collection.


Christina:
I love Kevin Murphy’s shampoo for colour treated hair and his Angel Rinse deep conditioner. I’m not a natural blonde, so thanks to Ritual2 for introducing me to this awesome line. It smells fab, and my hair is the healthiest it’s been since Grade 8 (before I was introduced to the world of bleach, dye and CHI hair straighteners).

I also love Mary Kay makeup remover. The shower is the perfect spot to remove my mascara and MK is the only one I’ve found I’m not allergic to.

I always have a pair of exfoliating gloves in my shower; everything else is on constant rotation. 

My latest obsessions are two products that I discovered when I was in NYC over NYE: DevaCurl No-Poo shampoo and Jessicurl Confident Coils Styling Solution. The No-Poo doesn’t lather and it makes your hair really knotty at first – but, when you rinse it out, your hair feels amazing and is tangle-free. It’s all natural, with no sulphites or other fake things. I’m in love.


Lisa:
Dove bath products, especially conditioner. I’m doomed without conditioner, my hair gets all bird-nesty.

Also, Formulab face cleanser, and a loofah.


Carly:
When it comes to products, I’m a Kiehl’s girl through and through. Made from all natural ingredients, their packaging is also recyclable. It’s really the least I can do to help save the environment.

The Crème de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Body Polish has all the right ingredients to moisturize and exfoliate my skin. For a liquid body cleanser that’s oh-so green, I’m currently sticking with Aloe Vera Biodegradable Liquid Body Cleanser. 

With their latest limited edition bottles designed by Jeff Koons, any bathroom can be instantly updated in true contemporary MOMA style.   

What are your shower must-haves?

Tweet us @rockitpromo

What’s In Your… Carry On?

We all know by now: whether it’s a short flight or you’re in for the long haul, keep your prods to a minimum. And by minimum, we only mean 30 mL or less. In terms of how many items you want to bring on though, well, that’s still left up to you and the size of your travel bag, luckily. We asked our office what their carry-on staples are, and this is what we’re rocking:



Michelle: I typically bring a mix of magazines in all sorts of genres so I don’t get bored. My selection would look something like: Toronto Life, Flare, Nylon, Adbusters and one tabloid like Us Weekly.


I would DIE without music, so always have to have my iPod. It helps me tune out the sound of other people snoring, kids crying, someone coughing, etc. And I have a huge fear of my luggage getting lost, so I always bring one outfit and pair of shoes in my carry on, just in case.
Lara: As soon as I clear customs, my traditions kick in. First stop: Starbucks for a Frappucino. 

Second stop: mindless magazines and a bottle of water. These are added into my overstuffed carry-on, which also always has a few other things, like ear phones. 

I barrel through new releases on flights. I never travel with out my various chargers – Blackberry, iPod and camera. If there’s one place where I find the leggings trend appropriate, it’s on a plane. Enter comfort zone as soon as the bathroom light comes on after take-off.


Rachelle: My top 3 must-have carry-on items: Rosebud Salve lip balm: It can be used on basically anything dry (lips, face, hands). Baby wipes, which are great for the babe, and to clean my hands if the bathrooms are not vacant. Otrivin nasal mist: I know, kinda gross, but my sinuses kill me on the plane.
Carly: Apparently, there is something to be said about packing light. Don’t ask me about it; I have never done it. When choosing between my Michael Kors wedges and Pedro Garcia booties, I bring them both.

Then I throw in my Stuart Weitzman’s for good measure. So what’s in my carry on bag? All the shoes I can’t fit into my suitcase.

Christina: I’m one of those weird people who loves to fly (comparable to the weird people that enjoy going to the dentist). This is because I usually take the opportunity to catch up on sleep. After boarding, I enjoy a glass of Merlot and then catch up on my zzz’s. 

My carry on includes items that make my snooze a little more comfortable:

A good book. I read a little until the Merlot kicks in and I get to snooze. Gum for when I wake up from my snooze. Also, great to chomp on while descending. I pack Pur Gum in spearmint. It’s aspartame-free, and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to cut this chemical out of my diet.
 

Sunglasses. The second I get off the plane, I slide on my sunny gees to cover my sleepy eyes.

Debra: I never go on a plane without regular flavoured Bubbalicious (for take-offs and landing), a spray toner that I transfer into a small spritz bottle (I like Dermalogica), and Rosebud Salve lip balm. I also always have a pashmina in case I get cold.

Lisa: A really warm sweater! Airplane blankets are never warm enough and I always get chilly on planes. I would also bring a full-sized pillow if it would fit. I like to be comfy.

Alana: First and foremost, a good book. I love reading at night, but find that I’m out like a light after three pages, so taking a good book with me on vacation is always a must. Bonus: it also gives me a chance to actually finish the book in a normal amount of time. 
Second, snacks. If I’m travelling out of the country, I’ll always bring something small but filling, like granola bars, just in case of delays or as a potential life-saver from unappetizing foods (as tempting as those chicken feet look, I think I’ll pass). 

Other essentials include a travel toothbrush and face wipes and anything else that will make my trip run smoothly!

Abby: Number one carry-on must-have is a good book or two, depending on how long the flight is. I wear my glasses and bring contacts to change into before I land (they get way too dry on the plane). And toiletries: a toothbrush, my makeup bag to look a little less rumpled (Benefit’s benetint is the single best way to do this) and a hairbrush. 



I love Nina Garcia’s words about airplane travel – something along the lines of “flights are not an excuse to wear yoga pants. Look presentable, wrinkle-free and comfortable, not like you’re going to the gym”. I try to live by this (sorry Lara!).

Rant AND Rave: Snowboarding vs. Skiing

Some of us want to make the best of winter. We love the waft of beaver tails lingering in the air. The crisp air and cozy nights in blankets with tea. We also love being active. Some of us on the fourth floor are skiers and some are snowboarders. Here are our thoughts on which ride trumps the other.


Ross Rebagliati wannabe’s

 

Lara: As a young girl I learned how to ski on the bunny hill at Earl Bales and moved up to Lakeridge, but my heart was never in it. When snowboarding became the new “it” sport, I jumped on the bandwagon. My friend Hayley oozed the cool snowboarder vibe, was an instant pro, quickly became a teacher, and gave me lessons on her front lawn “slope”. I was in love and seriously dove in a few years ago. I crave road trips to bigger mountains, am constantly looking for new gear, and love the culture – a.k.a. poutine and nachos for lunch and talking about every ride, how good or bad or fast it went. Gnarly dude.

 

Christina: I’ve been a boarder since ’96, when an embarrassing ski accident (involving moguls and a younger child) caused me to see the light. I have never looked back. I think the ultimate reason boarding is better is the outcome after falling. When you bite it on skis, it’s downright embarrassing. As a skier, you yard sale on the hill, poles tossed in every direction, one ski sliding down the hill and with the other 20 yards up. You have to climb back up the hill (awkwardly, because walking in ski boots is the pits and your onesy ski suit is inevitably too tight) and collect all your gear piece by piece. Thankfully, as a boarder my equipment never strays. When I fall, my board is attached by a leash. I can sit down on the hill, strap back in and still look good doing it.

Abby: Skiing! Even though I am into snowboarding, I’ve only done it once. It was a blast, but hard on my wrists from a million falls, and my knee was aching by the end of the day, unaccustomed to being flexed for hours at a time. 
Skiing feels smoother and freer. I used to figure skate competitively, so skiing came easily. I love to push myself and go down moguls, triple black diamond hills and occasionally venture into the half-pipe. There’s no way I’d get that thrill factor with snowboarding – I’d have to put in years just to avoid giving myself a concussion.
 
It’s also easier to get around on flat ground (instead of doing that awkward pigeon-toed snowboard walk).

Rachelle: I love alpine skiing. I’m originally from Montreal and the skiing in Quebec is great. I love the speed, the amazing workout and and the cute après ski outfits. My husband and I love the good food you can always find in ski towns.

The former skier/snowboarder:  


Matt: The year was 1998. I was a very good skier, had a pair of K2’s and all. I made the horrible mistake of trying to impress some ladies, so I tackled a triple black diamond hill. My ski fell off on a hairpin turn, I crashed through the orange barrier fence, launched over a cliff and had my fall broken by a lone tree. Ski patrol tied me to a spinal board on a sled and took me down the hill to emergency. Along the way I saw the girls. Needless to say, they were not impressed. I was on crutches for two months. Sadly, I haven’t skied or snowboarded since, but put me down for drinks by a chalet fireplace.




What about you – skis or snowboard? Tweet us @rockitpromo.

First jobs: Alana

To continue our first jobs series, Alana tells us all about the joys of working at a specialty ski and outdoor apparel shop.

Other than babysitting for my neighbours, my first “real” job was in the retail industry when I was 15. I worked at The Sign of the Skier for three years, selling ski jackets, hats, gloves and accessories in the clothing department.

Every three weeks we were required to attend product knowledge meetings about the mechanics of how each jacket was made. I knew coats inside and out – literally. 

I could tell customers how waterproof, windproof, breathable and durable each coat was, and why. I was also taught the importance of layering, and which fabrics should be layered where. Not to mention advising on which gloves, hats, snow pants and long underwear were the best bang for your buck. 

I knew this Helly Hansen performance jacket intimately. 
It was always pretty fun to see the look of disbelief on customer’s faces after explaining the inner workings of a coat they were interested in. They couldn’t believe a kid could know that much information about one product.

The best part about working at The Sign was the fact that I worked with my mom, twin sister and two best friends. That’s not to say that we loved working after school, but it definitely made it much sweeter that we could work together. One of my all-time favourite memories was in the spring when we had no customers and things at the store slowed right down. My friends and I would play practical jokes on each other… until one went terribly wrong. 

It was kind of like this, only not as composed.  

We’d hide behind the racks of clothes and jump out to scare each other. One time, a friend and I were hiding in the pant rack when a customer came and started flipping through the pants. We froze and stayed silent, hoping he would go back downstairs. But he didn’t. 

He saw us hiding in the pants, looked at us weirdly, and walked away. I was too embarrassed to talk to him, so my friend dealt with the aftermath. My boss was not impressed. 


My first job was a good experience. It taught me the importance of happy customers, a good attitude, team work and many other qualities that have been paramount in my growing career. 

Yum, yum: Delicious soups

We’ve been chatting lots about cold weather noshes, like coffee and hot chocolate. We asked the crew on the fourth floor about another delicious way to warm you from the inside – soup. There are a million varieties of soup and a hot, steamy bowl is just the thing to make you feel warm and cozy when the snow is blowing outside. 

Our favourite picks were a surprising mix of restaurant faves and recipes from mom. Enjoy!

Alana: The absolute BEST soup I’ve ever had was at Auberge du Pommier. Their Cappuccino de Truffe soup is served like a cappuccino (obviously), but filled with pureed mushroom and truffle soup with velvet shank cream and a hunk of parmesan cheese (that you put in your soup to melt). It’s also accompanied by a delicious Parmesan biscuit. It’s pricey at $19, but in my opinion, worth every penny, especially for a nice treat. You won’t find a better mushroom soup out there – trust me!

Debra: I adore the lentil soup at Mashu Mashu in Forest Hill Village. It’s hearty, thick and great on it’s own or with pita and hummous. I used to live across the street and loved going in regularly to get this soup.  

Rachelle: The Senagalese Peanut Chicken from Soup Nutsy. It’s filling, spicy and has tons of flavour. The crunchy peanuts are a nice touch. Soup Nutsy bowls are always awesome, and this is one of the best.  


Lara: I’m not a very big soup person, it just never appeals to me. However, if I do have soup, it is from a few places. I like the pea soup from United Dairy Bakery. I also dig a good bowl of pho, but haven’t yet found a great vegetarian option. Any suggestions?

My favourite soup is my mom’s incredible curried cauliflower soup. You wouldn’t know its cauliflower, and the drizzle of honey on top is a not-too-sweet surprise and cuts the curry. The rich flavour comes from how long the cauliflower is roasted for. Yum.


Michelle: I am not really a huge soup person, but I do love a classic chicken noodle soup once in a while. I mainly eat soup when I am feeling sick, and I will make myself Lipton Chicken Noodle soup and break up a lot of soda crackers into the bowl and let them get a bit mushy. For some reason it is the only thing I can eat when I am feeling under the weather. It makes me feel all warm and cozy so I can rest and get better quickly!


Carly: When in culinary doubt, I see only two options – Google Martha Stewart or head to the nearest Pusateri’s. This gourmet foodie shop has the best PB + J party sandwiches, red velvet cupcakes and asparagus soup. Made with puréed asparagus and a little something spicy, this green soup will fill your daily veggie requirements. Add some cheese, and trust me, this is no cup of Campbell’s.


Christina: My favourite soup is A. Walters’ (a.k.a. my mom’s) homemade potato leek soup. The name doesn’t sound appealing, nor does it look particularly appealing, but it tastes fabulous. It’s thick, a little nutty and warms the heart on a cold winter day. Added benefit? Both my brother and sister aren’t fans, so it leaves more servings for me when I go home for a visit. Ma Dukes is usually great about making extra (thanks, Mom!) and sends it back home with me. 
 
Abby: I am a huge Thai food fan, so I regularly crave the shrimp lemongrass soup from Thai Paradise, a tiny little restaurant in Baldwin Village. It’s pretty authentic, spicy, and the shrimp are so fat and tasty. I love the complex flavours of the soup; lemongrass has got to be one of the most delicious seasonings ever. My mouth is now watering.


Lisa: I don’t care what anybody says! My mom makes the best soup in the whole entire world (ahem… Lara and Christina…). My fave is mushroom. Made with cream, loads of mushrooms, a little flour, some butter, and salt and white pepper to taste. Simple. Savoury. Super fattening. It’s so good. I would tell you all to try some, but she lives in North Bay. 
 

Where do you get your favourite soup? We want to know!

A holiday message for you


Happy holidays from all of us on the fourth floor! 
Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and fun holiday season.


xo
Debra and the team

From left to right, top row – Carly, Rachelle, Lara, Christina, Matt, Alana and Abby
Bottom row – Debra, Michelle and Lisa