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!

TIFF ’10: Theatre Yoga

We heart TIFF. Really, what’s not to love about this fabulous Toronto institution? Three hundred films shown over 11 days, red carpets, parties and celebrity sightings galore – sounds like our kind of fun. The thing is, by day two we’ve usually ditched the heels, by day six we’re speed dialing our RMTs, and by day 10 we’re yearning for a quiet night in.

We asked our favourite yogis, Sari Nisker from Spynga and YuMee Chung from Passport to Prana, to give us their top moves for staying limber, energized and feeling our best at this year’s fest. Om(g)!

Pre-fest: Downward Dog
Starting with a quick pre-fest downward dog is a perfect way to get more oxygen flowing to your star-crazed brain and getting your body ready to move. Begin on your hands and knees, with hands and knees positioned shoulder and hip distance apart. Curl your toes under and lift your hips back and up towards the stars. If you feel much of the weight in your shoulders or hands, bend your knees a little and draw your chest towards your thighs. Take 10-15 deep breaths, which will allow the blood flow to reverse and will instantly lift your mood. Being upside down is the secret celebrity youth potion, don’t ya know?

In line: quads and hips
Excitedly waiting in line for a film (and hoping to catch a glimpse of a celeb)? This is a great opportunity to stretch your quads and hips. Stand tall, shift your weight to your left foot and begin to bend your leg up from your right knee. Draw your foot back, reach down and grab your right ankle, and slowly bring your heel towards your right glute (butt). To intensify the stretch, allow the right foot to draw back into your hand to create some resistance. Take a few deep breaths and lift your chest as you hold the position. Remember to get an even stretch and repeat with the other leg. Ladies: please move with caution if you are in heels that are more than one inch in height.

In your (coveted) seat:

Eyes
Close your eyelids and move your inner gaze along four points (holding each for one slow, deep inhale and one slow, deep exhale through your nose): (1) up towards your forehead, (2) down towards your chin, (3) over to the left ear, (4) over to the right ear. Then, do three slow clockwise circles with your eyes before doing three counter-clockwise circles. Finally, rub your hands briskly to generate some heat between your palms and cup them over your closed eyes. Breath deeply a few times, allowing the heat to relax the muscles and calm the mind.

Your eyes need some stretching too.

Neck

Sit up straight in your seat, and lower the right ear towards the right shoulder until you feel a gentle pull on the left side of your neck. If you’d like a deeper stretch, place your right hand lightly on the head to encourage the movement. Enjoy for five deep breaths before turning the nose to point down towards your right underarm, until you feel the stretch move a little closer to your spine. Stay for five breaths and repeat on the left. Inhale deeply, and lower the chin towards the chest with an exhale. As you inhale, roll the right ear towards the right shoulder, and as you exhale, roll the chin back down to the chest. As you inhale, roll the left ear towards the left shoulder, and as you exhale roll the chin back down to the chest. Repeat four to six times.

This will feel amazing.

Back
Sitting forward in your seat, place your right hand on the back end of the right-side armrest and place your left hand on your right knee. Inhale and grow tall through your spine, and then exhale as you twist to the right, letting your hands give you some leverage. Look over the right shoulder and keep your seat grounded, resisting the urge to let your hips turn with you. Take five deep breaths in this simple twist before switching sides.

Like this! Only…cooler.

Nourish and stretch
Eating and drinking during TIFF is vital. Waiting in line for water and snacks, open and stretch out your shoulders. Bring your hands behind your back, interlace your fingers and imagine that you have Brad Pitt’s hand on your upper back and you never want to let it go. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and stretch the arms straight down towards the red carpet. Breathe and smile brightly.

Practice these stretches daily while watching the hot lineup of films at TIFF this year. Your body will thank you on September 20, when it’s all over!

Photo credits:
trek2befit.com
fitsugar.com
saidonline.com
heartlightyoga.com
ecollegefinder.org

Meet Our Team: Michelle

Michelle Easton, a stellar publicist, loves fashion, music and Queen West-West. She adds spunk and sass to the fourth floor. She may or may not have a tattoo in an interesting place….

Michelle’s current client roster includes Shopgirls Gallery Boutique, Emily Hampshire, Passport to Prana, You Name It Baby! and Tastemakers Lounge, among others.

How long have you been part of the team?
One glorious year!

Ideal vacation spot?

A deserted beach in Costa Rica.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Wine. Oh, and of course, the amazing show True Blood (I’m addicted.)

Favourite movie of all time?

Romeo + Juliet (Baz Luherman)

How do you like to relax?

I like to sit in a park reading a fashion magazine while listening to music on a sunny day. It’s so calming and lovely.

Best part about being a publicist?

I love that I get to meet and chat with so many interesting and wonderful people.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website Beautiful Things to Share
Designer – Stella McCartney.
Store – Chatelet
Book If You Have To Cry Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone.
Snack – Heavenly hash ice cream.
Season – Summer: I love sunshine and wearing sun dresses.
Sexy – Confidence.
Inspiration – My mother.
Drink – Vitamin Water.
Motto in two words – Love always.

Meet Our Client: YuMee Chung

YuMee Chung is the brains and the beauty behind Passport to Prana, a unique yoga program that offers people the freedom to try their city’s best yoga studios by eliminating the cost barrier that comes with yoga in a big city. The Passport To Prana card retails for a one-time fee of $20 to $30 (varies depending on the city) and gives the card holder access to try one class at 10 to 70 studios (varies depending on city).

Chung taught yoga for years before launching Passport to Prana with business partners Raj Gandhi, Prajna Harsora, Scott Peterson and Jim Benedek. She has taught yoga to CEO’s, Hollywood directors and high-profile celebrities, including Val Kilmer and Diane Lane, and offers yoga instruction on her personal website.

Photo courtesy of Marc Davidson

What do you do?

I work with Passport to Prana to promote the practice of yoga in major North American cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, New York and San Francisco. We started out in Toronto five years ago and we expect to be operating in more than 20 cities by the end of the year.
I’m a lawyer-turned-yoga teacher and I play a business development role at Passport to Prana, which to me means dreaming big and not being afraid to stand traditional business practices on their head. And, yes, I do occasionally bust out a headstand while on the job.

How long have you worked with rock-it promotions?
We’ve been with rock-it promotions for three years–three very happy years!

What do you love most about your job?
I love that my job doesn’t feel anything like a job. I’m one of the lucky ones who can say I followed my passion rather than doing what was expected. Also, it doesn’t hurt that my co-workers are all talented, creative, funny and kind people who share my enthusiasm for the work we do.

What do you like least about your profession/industry?
Technical difficulties. Sure, they’re a fact of life for online businesses but they’re the one thing that threatens my yogic calm.

Photo courtesy of Cylla von Tiedemann

What’s your next big goal?
We always say we won’t stop until Passport to Prana gives you access to all yoga studios everywhere!

Why is public relations important to you and what you do professionally?
We know we have a great product but without PR nobody would know about it. PR puts us on the map and brings clients to our door.


Any other thoughts you’d like to share about your PR experience?
A PR professional who really “gets” what you do and is enthusiastic about working with you is worth her weight in gold.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website: Etsy.com. Nice business model, nice execution, nice way to spend all my disposable income.
Designer: Berlin-based BLESS.
Book: Whatever I happen to be reading. At the moment it’s Black Swan Green by David Mitchell.
Snack: Too many to say–I’m a snack monster. I would be 300 pounds if I didn’t do yoga!
Season: Spring, Fall and everything in between.
Sexy: Shiny, happy people.
Inspiration: The yoga practice and the people who do it.
Drink: Jasmine tea.
Motto in two words: Breathe and smile (Russell Simmons taught me that one after a sweaty yoga class at Jivamukti Yoga School in NYC).
Idea of perfect happiness: The state of missing nothing.
Indulgence: Date night with my husband.
Greatest achievement: Hopefully still to come.

Passport To Prana is available in Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton and will launch in Winnipeg this August. This year, they have also launched Passport To Prana programs in the US cities including Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York and Dallas.