Fashion-able: Pour la tête

Brrrr! While we hate to admit it, it’s that time of year again – time for hats!!! From headbands to furs, today on the fourth floor we’ve amalgamated some of our favourite pieces for the fall season. (Psst..click the link below each hat for where to buy info.) 

Ever since Kate Moss rocked that gold turban at the MET ball, we’ve been a little obsessed. Not to mention, it’s great for the days when dry shampoo won’t do the trick. 😉 We found a few knit versions online at ASOS that we’re itching to order. 




The classic toque is always a cozy go-to. Worn rolled up or slouched back, it’s easy to throw on and run out the door. 



Headbands give us that retro early-90s vibe – and we love it. 

A warm, luxe statement piece, a fur hat adds a little oomph to any outfit. 


For a different aesthetic, felt and velour hats make us feel like a really on-trend Carmen Sandiego. Bonus points because you can rock ’em all year long. 

                                            Bowler                                                                       Boater.
Bowlers and boaters are great options for the fall/winter season. The difference between the two styles? The width of the brim.
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Fave 5: Things to pack for the beach

Spending a lazy, sunny day at the beach is as much a rite of summer as eating corn-on-the-cob and ducking out of work early to enjoy a drink on the patio. Too many times we find ourselves in such a rush to plant ourselves on the sand that we forget to pack some essential items. To keep your trip waterside as blissful as possible, we’ve done the work for you and rounded up the top five things you should bring to the beach. 


Beach Blanket

Make sure to match your bathing suit to your beach blanket.



A towel is important if you’re planning on taking a dip, but no one wants to sit on a soggy piece of terry cloth (at least, not us). Enter the beach blanket. You want one that is lightweight, large enough to share with friends and preferably in a fun colour or pattern. We love this throw from Anthropologie or this upcycled blanket from Etsy, but you can use an old sheet if you’re in a bind. 


Sunscreen

The easiest sunscreen application. 



We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but we can’t stress the importance of wearing sunscreen this summer. Be sure to apply at least 30 minutes before heading outside and throw it in your bag to re-apply every 1-2 hours. We already gave some suggestions on our favourite organic sunscreen brands (read it here), but wanted to share one more. Lesa Hannah tweeted about this sunscreen “game changer” Janine Falcon introduced her to: Sun Defense Minerals by Eminence. This mineral-based face protector is easily applied with a brush and is hypoallergenic – perfect for those with sensitive skin. 


Hydrating drinks

We’re partial to this flask from the Drake General Store. 



As much as we love Ontario’s lakes, we wouldn’t recommend gulping it down if you’re thirsty. It’s extra-important to stay hydrated in the heat, so pack some hydrating drinks (and no, alcohol absolutely does not count) to bring with you. Water is always your best bet, but a refreshing home-brewed iced tea would work too. Gracie Carroll has an easy recipe over on her blog.


A good read

Can’t beat a great love story at the beach.



Whether it’s a trashy gossip mag or you’re re-reading Anna Karenina, a good read is a beach essential. We’re partial to fun, lighter reads in the summertime. Some of our top suggestions: Summer Sisters, Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century, The Night Circus or Your Voice in my Head.


A cute cover-up

Better than cute, this cover-up is on sale right now at Shopbop.

After a day in the sun and sand, there’s nothing less appealing than putting on “real” clothing. Cover-ups are easy to throw on over you bathing suit whether you’re heading to the restroom or  wanting to keep that beach-y vibe going once you leave. The perfect cover-up should be lightweight, so its also perfect to throw on if you’re getting a bit too much sun. 

City Living: Toronto Gift Shop Guide

April showers bring May flowers and often lots of engagement parties, weekends at cottages, baby showers, housewarming parties and more. All happy occasions to bring a cool prezzie for a host. Today we’re sharing a few spots to pick up great gifts.

For Your Quirkiest Friend – Drake General Store 
4 locations: 1144 Queen Street West, 1140 Queen Street West, 1011 Yonge Street, 92A Bathurst Street or online.

This is as close as you’re going to get to ‘Ye Old Curiosities Shop’ in Toronto. Drake General Store has a little bit of everything: some Canadiana, select food items (Drake Granola – great gift if you’re an overnight guest), a few body products and some quirky items for the home. If you’re looking for something that no one else will bring to the party, this is your place. If you live outside of Toronto, lucky you, Drake General Store will deliver to wherever you are.

We all have that one friend who would really appreciate an Earl the Squirrel stacking acorn game/decorative statue.
Image source

For the Girliest Girl You Know – Chatelet

2 locations: 717 Queen Street West, 2207 Queen Street East
Primarily a decor store specializing in French Country, Shabby Chic and Hollywood Glam, Chatelet also carries the loveliest home accessories and gift items. Intricate picture frame? Napkins inspired by Paris in the springtime? A little dove to hold your rings? If you’re shopping for a girl who loves Brigitte Bardot, mirrored jewellery boxes or iron birdcages, go here.
Help your friend create her own little chateau at home.
Image source
For People Who Love to Laugh & Aren’t Easily Offended – Outer Layer 
2 locations: 577 Queen Street West, 430 Bloor Street West

Having this awesome gift shop just steps from our office has definitely got us out of a few pinches. It’s small, but crammed with fun jewellery, great bath & skincare lines (hello, Consonant in the downtown core!), funny books, cards that will make you blush, and random little items that make you giggle to yourself while also feeling ashamed for laughing at something so inappropriate or childish.

We know a few craft-loving cat owners who could use this.



For People You Don’t Know Especially Well – Teatro Verde
2 locations: 98 Yorkville, 2901 Bayview Avenue or Online

We’ve all been there: visiting the cottage of a friend’s distant relative, going to the shower of the boyfriend’s friend’s girlfriend, a house-warming party for a casual acquaintance… sometimes you just have no idea what the guest of honour likes. For inspiration, check out the gift ideas at Teatro Verde. They have plenty of suggestions for gifts that are tasteful and classy, but still interesting.

If the host doesn’t like this lovely scented candle, why are you even there?


For a Special Friend on a Special Occasion – Made You Look
2 locations: 1338 Queen St. West, 1273 Queen Street West or online

For a really special gift, pick up a thoughtful, one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted piece from a local artisan. The two locations are across the street from each other, with the North store specializing in finer jewellery and the South store packed with funky accessories and some really amazing, affordable pieces.

Love these Bop & Dani Bubbles earrings, made of laser stained wood for $27

For the Lazy Gift-Giver or When it’s Raining Outside – Drysdale & Co.
Online, but based in Riverdale

A visit to the Danforth was never complete without a stop at Drysdale & Co. Unfortunately this fun store closed its doors in January, but the same great selection of products is still offered online. Owner Susan Drysdale has an amazing eye for selecting fabulous jewellery, cool accessories and interesting gift items. Plus, you can shop from your couch and still support a local business. Win-win.

Great gift suggestions under $25.
Image source


My Hood: Allison

Our latest My ‘Hood: Allison talks about living in Condo Land AKA Lower Spadina.

The kitten and my view.
Moving into a condo at Spadina and Bremner was meant to be temporary; a short-term solution while I looked for a house in a “cooler” neighbourhood. Cut to two-and-a-half years later and I’m still loving living in the sky. While the City Place mecca might one day fall into ruin, as recently suggested by The Grid, it’s pretty shiny and new right now.
Best running motivation there is. 
Photo via Flickr.
On a typical weekend morning I’ll elevator down to the gym, hit the pool and finish up in the steam room. If it’s a particularly nice day, I’ll jog down along Lakeshore via the Terry Fox Miracle Mile (designed by Douglas Coupland). After that, it’s right to Thor for quick coffee or Le Gourmand for a leisurely breakfast over a newspaper.
Thor Espresso Bar
Image via Torontour.
If I feel like shopping, I’ll walk west on Queen or up to Kensington Market if I need to grab groceries (there’s a Sobey’s in my building but nothing beats Essence of Life). For retail therapy closer to home, there’s Riant, a cool boutique new to the neighborhood that carries a ton of great labels including Mackage and Rebecca Minkoff, and the Drake General Store on Bathurst (which happens to be my favourite of all three shops).
Coziest Drake General Store
Image via SheDoesTheCity
In the summer I’ll bike down to The Power Plant to check out the latest exhibit, or head over to the Harbourfront Centre for a free show or movie. I’m also right next to the Sky Dome Roger’s Centre, so I’ve gotten to know the nosebleed section quite well. In the winter I tend to hibernate but if I do go out, it’s to grab dinner at KitKat (my local gem) or a movie at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The Island is also cool to visit in the winter; every Sunday, the residents play shinny on the ice against the backdrop of Toronto – so neat to watch.
Quite the rink
Image via SpacingToronto
So that’s my ‘hood. Future ghetto or not, I love my little sky pod.

My ‘Hood: Lisa

Lisa and Michelle live in the same Parkdale apartment building, so rather than double up on the West Queen West ‘Hood, Lisa wrote about our office ‘hood: Queen and Bathurst.


Our ‘hood in 1928. It was cool even then.



Besides sharing The Burroughes Building with cool peeps like Jessica Jensen and Philip Sparks, we love our work ‘hood for its interesting characters, yummy lunch eats, shopping and endless supply of coffee.

Jessica Jensen and Philip Sparks keep it fashionable at The Burroughes.



We’re not kidding about the coffee – there are three shops at the Q & B intersection. Tim Hortons and Starbucks are staples, and Lit Espresso makes an amazing Americano and tasty savoury scone (find them on the first floor of Design Republic, which also lives in The Burroughes).


After we caffeinate, we like to shop at American Apparel, H&M, Heel Boy and Mac Cosmetics, which are all just a short walk down the street. We also love popping in and out of the antique stores that line this section of Queen for cool, vintage décor.





When we’re not busy shopping (or working), we eat. We love Smoke’s Poutinerie (they once surprised us with free poutine to the office!), and Reggie’s Sandwiches for something a little lighter.

 Mmm…poutine. Image source.



Sometimes, we head to Shanghai Cowgirl for all-day brekkie (okay, maybe that’s just me) or after-work beers. And for dessert, TeamBuy.ca intro’d us to Blushberry, AKA frozen yogurt heaven. (Plus, they have the super cool Mberry tablets. Try them).





Convenience and curiosity come in the form of Shoppers Drug Mart and Drake General Store (Bathurst), respectively. We love the former because it carries everything you could ever possibly need, while the latter carries everything you will never need, but won’t be able to resist just the same (plus, it’s a go-to when we really need a creative gift).



Do you need a Curiosities Kit? No. But it’s still sweet. 





Come check out our ‘hood. And while you’re here, pop in and say hello.

Rave: On The Fourth Floor Holiday Gift Guide – Part 1

We know you love shopping as much as we do, but finding the perfect gifts for loved ones can be a difficult task, even for the most seasoned of shoppers. Fear not, On the Fourth Floor has done your shopping for you! Here, we bring you stylish finds from some of our clients for everyone on your list. We’ll bring you even more ideas next week.

For the Budding Designer with Marc Jacobs Style Dreams: Design Your Own Dinner Set from Drake General Store, $68
The creative kid will get design happy this holiday season with Seedling’s Design Your Own Dinner Set from the Drake General Store. Complete with a plate, bowl, mug and egg cup, children can personalize their very own dinner sets with paint, glitter, feathers and ribbons. Sets can be designed with an Alexander Wang-cool aesthetic or with a girly Nanette Lepore touch. Either way, bake them in the oven for an hour and use them for a lifetime.

For the Glamorous Lounger: Cicciabella Cowgirl Slippers from Tryst Lingerie, $65


Finally, there is the perfect accessory for the glam girl’s leopard print Snuggie. Your favourite lounger can kick up her feet in style with Cicciabella Cowgirl Slippers from Tryst Lingerie. Embroidered with faux suede and lined with super soft faux sheepskin, this is one pair of comfy footwear she simply won’t want to take off. Luckily, with hard sole bottoms, she doesn’t have too. 



For the Newlyweds: Starburst Mirror from Homesav.com, $99

Normally retailing for $240, this mirror is a steal for just $99, available on Homesav.com from today until Wednesday. Not familiar with Homesav.com yet? It’s an online shopping destination, offering the latest designer furniture and décor at up to 70 per cent off. The progressive site is the first of its kind in Canada, offering an exciting approach to home decorating.


For the Next Suri Cruise or Romeo Beckham: Wide Stripe Sweater with Initial from You Name It Baby!, $96 



If Suri Cruise has proved anything, it’s that children can be trendsetters too. To keep the kids in your life fashionably on trend, try personalized Wide Stripe Sweaters with Initials from You Name It Baby! Hand-knit, these super soft cotton sweaters feature the child’s first initial against a striped background. Casual and cool, this sweater comes in your choice of colours, and is delivered to your door. 

For the Gourmet Chef with an Apartment-Sized Kitchen: Frigidaire Portable Induction Cooktop, $199

Even the most tolerant chefs can get frustrated with the tiny, ancient stovetops that come with most rental apartments. To help, Frigidaire has come out with this nifty cooktop to bring food to the next level. Aspiring Jamie Olivers can melt chocolate and boil water, and save on utilities at the same time – the cooktop is 70 per cent more efficient than gas and 20 per cent more efficient than electric. Plus, the surface is easier to clean, since heat transfers right to the cookware. Available across Canada at Sears, The Brick, Leon’s, The Bay, and additional select major appliance locations.  

For the Beauty Junkie: Intraceuticals Oxygen Treatment from Bay Dermatology Centre, $225

The beauty-obsessed can now rock Hollywood’s A-list face treatment in Toronto with an Intraceuticals Oxygen Treatment at Bay Dermatology Centre. This non-invasive skin treatment takes only 40 minutes and results last for up to three weeks. Give the gift, and let the beauty fanatical join the list of celebrity Intraceuticals fans, including Katy Perry, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Eva Longoria-Parker and Dsquared² design duo, Dean and Dan Caten. With healing properties that reduce inflammation after IPL or PhotoFacial treatments, chemical peels, acne and sun damage, your skin will be ready for any photo shoot, TV appearance or celebratory occasion – like your next holiday soirée.

For the Yogi Striving for Inner Peace: Passport to Prana, $20 to $30
Help the yoga junkie in your life get Zen with Passport to Prana, the card that helps yogis get acquainted with the city’s best yoga studios at a fraction of the cost. Buy this passport for a yoga class at each of Prana’s destination, boutique and community studios. Regardless of exercise style, Passport to Prana has the class to suit any yoga subscriber. For a gift that keeps on giving, a $30-Toronto card will get the exercise buff in up to 70 yoga classes. Roll out that yoga mat! 

For the Dapper Gent (or one you want to make more dapper): Fred Perry Toggle Shawl Collar Sweater, $215


This cute and cozy sweater is great for almost any dude – stylish, yet manly, and warm enough that you’ll never hear him complain about the cold again. Better yet, it’s timeless cut and colour ensures that he’ll have it around for ages – which means you can swipe it for yourself after a year or two. Available across Canada, at the Fred Perry store in Toronto and online.


For your Mini-Me: Comfy Cardi from Mini Mioche, $42 (infant) and $46 (child)



Mini Mioche makes adorable, organic clothing for infants and children, from newborn to six years. Its Canadian-made line is super soft and available in surprisingly hard-to-find neutrals, like black, grey, olive and natural. Not only will your li’l ones look good, but you can feel good too, since Mini Mioche strives to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible, with reuseable dyes, water-based or discharge graphic prints, and 100-per-cent recycled materials for everything from hang tags to catalogs. What’s not to love? P.S. Mini Mioche will also open its first bricks and mortar store at 795 Queen West in early December.


For the Foodie Friend: Home-baked Taste with PC Home Baker’s Gift Loaf Pans, $9.99




Channel your inner Martha Stewart and whip up the perfect gift for the foodie on your gift list. PC Home’s Baker’s Gift Loaf Pans are oven-safe, silicone-coated paper pans that make for an easy release after baking. Bake a special treat in one of these reusable pans and tie it up with a fabulous red bow for the perfect presentation.

Need a recipe? Try Martha Stewart’s Banana-Walnut Loaf. Serves 10.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups mashed medium very ripe bananas (about 6)
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch (2-quart) loaf pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of banana; mix until just combined. Stir in walnuts, if desired, by hand.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 60 to 70 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in pan, then deliver to your loved one!
     
     Happy Shopping!

Sleigh Bells in August

People who don’t work in journalism, magazines, PR or other similar industries are a little, well, astonished to hear about our recent holiday media preview. “Why are you talking about Christmas already?!”, they exclaim. But, for the 60+ publications that paid us a visit last Wednesday, it was perfect timing for planning their holiday gift guides.

rock-it promotions held its second annual media preview on a sweltering August 4, and it was a smash success. Holiday tunes were playing, Santa was jingling bells and people were buzzing excitedly about the cool products and services on display from our clients. Here’s a peek:

Erin Nadler from Better Styled was on hand, offering personal image consulting tips and a preview of gorgeous fall clothing to be found in her warehouse.
A great fitted blazer on display, and a cozy, yet chic, belted sweater.
Joyce from The Drake General Store showcased a ton of unique gifts for everyone.
 Best ideas included a children’s make-your-own designer T-shirt kit, a festive garden gnome statue, Navajo-inspired throws and Jeff Koons-esque balloon animal bookends.
Luxurious nighttime foot massage spa Red Door offered heavenly foot rubs for everyone after they’d made the rounds. Imagine coming home in January after a long day of trudging through slush and snow, and remembering you received that gift certificate Red Door – time to warm and soothe those tootsies with a foot massage!

You Name It Baby has so many great, personalized products for babies and children. They definitely had the cutest display.
You Name It Baby can customize paintings, stuffed animals, blankets and robes, among many other items. They even did great custom lunchboxes on the spot for attendees.

Marla Brown Home offered up a glorious holiday inspired tabletop, minus the clichéd poinsettias and green and red colour scheme.

The event designers extraordinaire also highlighted their flower arrangement and concierge services by giving everyone a very cute Star of Bethlehem hostess gift to take home.
Come As You Are had the friskiest display, showing all sorts of fun sex-related goodies. gill and Holly were there as experts on everything from organic, locally sourced lubricant to the luxe gold-plated Lelo Earl products.

President’s Choice Home had a stunning display. Decorations, ornaments, cute penguin statues, baking supplies, photo frames–PC Home has got every holiday need covered.
The acrylic reindeer is pretty and classic.
Finally, Toben Food By Design created a globally inspired holiday menu that featured mini-Pho soups, Ahi tuna cones with wasabi, cheesecake lollipops and amazing beignets with injectable fillings.
There were also mini risotto balls, slivers of smoked salmon on potato latkes and freshly made Bellini mocktails. Wow!
We had so much fun at our preview that thoughts of snowy days and blustery skies are welcome now. So excited for the 2010 holidays! Thank you to everyone who came to make this such a great success.