Join Me At Blogpodium


Blogpodium is a one-day conference happening in Toronto on September 21, aimed at design and lifestyle bloggers.  Topics for discussion include “what bloggers can learn from magazines”, “from blog to business”, and “photoshop for bloggers”.  I’m super excited to not only be attending Blogpodium, but also speaking (my presentation is “creating a style guide for your blog”).  If that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, interior designer extraordinaire Sarah Richardson is giving the keynote address, breakfast and lunch are included, you get two drink tickets for the reception, and the swag bag is rockin’.  Sounds great, right?

If you’d like to join me at Blogpodium, I have a promo code to share with you.  Enter code “blogpodium10” when you order your ticket to get 10% off.

Use Your Toronto Library Card to Get Free Magazines on Your iPad


Toronto Public Library has partnered with Zinio, the repository for digital versions of magazines (it’s kind of like Apple’s Newstand, but kind of better).  You can now get current issues of over 300 magazines for free, either online or on your iPad.  I tried it out, and quickly downloaded this month’s issue of Dwell, Canadian House and Home, Today’s Parent, Hello Canada (I kind of love trash magazines), National Geographic, Martha Stewart Living, The Oprah Magazine, The Walrus, MacWorld, Cottage Life, and more.  FOR FREE.

Here’s how you do it (follow these instructions step-by-step, because it’s a little tricky).  Do these steps on a desktop or laptop computer – it’s tricky to do on your iPad.

  1. Get out your library card.  Sorry pals that don’t live in Toronto – this one’s only for us city kids. (but check with your local library – Toronto’s not the only place that’s partnered with Zinio)
  2. You have to set up TWO accounts.  One with regular Zinio, and one within Toronto Public Library’s Zinio website.
  3. Go to Zinio’s website and sign up for a free account.
  4. Go to Toronto Public Library’s Zinio website and sign up for another account.  Do not log in to your existing account.  You have to have TWO.  Also, use the same email address and password for both accounts.  Trust me on this one.  Also, at some point in this process, you’ll be asked for your library card number.
  5. Once both of your accounts are set up, stay at the Toronto Public Library Zinio website and start looking for magazines.  When you find one you like, click “complete checkout”.  This will pop open another window with the regular Zinio website, and it will show that your new magazine is now in “your library”.

Now you’re done with the desktop/laptop, and you can go over to your iPad.  Download the Zinio app from the App Store.  Open the app on your iPad, and log in to your Zinio account.  You should see your magazine in “your library”.  Click on the issue to download it to your iPad, and enjoy!

I know it seems cumbersome to load up your magazine choices on your computer, and then go over to the iPad to download them.  But I honestly couldn’t figure out a way to do it all in the app.  It seems like you MUST go through the library’s portal website.

So, it takes a few minutes to set up, but once the issues as loaded, you’re good to go.  And that’s a small price to pay for free magazines that look gorgeous on your iPad.



How to Choose Typefaces for Your Website


I saw Jessica Hische give a presentation called “Upping Your Type Game” at An Event Apart in San Diego two weeks ago.  It was fantastic – entertaining and full of helpful tips for choosing typefaces for your website project.  She’s turned the talk into a blog post, and shared it on her website.  Bookmarked.

[illustration by Jessica Hische]

Blik Wall Tiles: An Alternative to Wallpaper


There are a few walls in our house that I would love to wallpaper, but I haven’t done so because wallpaper can be so messy, and such a pain to remove. I’d love to try the wall tiles offered by Blik as an alternative – they’re relatively easy to install (the tiles are self-adhesive), and can be repositioned and moved.  I love the “fishwall” pattern pictured above, but there are other, more subtle options too.

My Super Lazy Way to Wash Delicate Clothing


I don’t have many pieces of clothing that aren’t machine washable, but when those few delicate pieces (hand-knit sweaters, silk shirts, and lingerie) need a wash, I do it by hand, using Soak Wash.  This stuff is awesome – you add a little bit of it to some water in the sink, throw in your stuff, and let it sit for 15 minutes.  Then just gently wring your items out, and lay them flat or hang to dry.  That’s it.  No rinsing.  No scrubbing.  And Soak smells really good too.

Soak is a Toronto-based company, and I buy Soak Wash at my local knitting boutique, The Purple Purl. But you can get it online on their website if you want.

[PS – this isn’t a sponsored post or anything.  I just honestly really like this product and wanted to share it with you.]

Beautiful Stand for iPad and Square



I’ve seen a few retail shops and craft show vendors using their iPads (or iPhones) at checkouts.  Attach a Square credit card reader, and you have an instant cash register.  If that’s your setup (or if you’re considering that setup), have a look at this beautiful wooden stand by Tinkering Monkey.  It pivots back and forth so both you and the customer can look at it, and they will laser engrave your logo on the stand.

I have no real need for this, but I kind of wish I did.

Make Your Gloves Work With Your iPhone



Here’s a real Canadian nerd problem if I’ve ever seen one – I can’t use my iPhone when I’m wearing my winter gloves.  And with the weather we’ve been having lately in Toronto, that’s a serious issue!

I’ve been on the lookout for a pair of gloves that has touchscreen-friendly fingers, but most of the ones I’ve seen are really ugly or really expensive. I wished I could wear my normal gloves (which I love) but still use my phone.  I was about to order this DIY touchscreen glove kit (saw it on Swiss Miss), but then I saw these GloveTips on 50% sale at Indigo. I figured, for $10, why not give ’em a try?

They came in the mail today, and I put them on my favourite blue snowflake gloves.  I can happily report that the GloveTips totally work!   Of course, I don’t have the same dexterity as bare hands, but it’s a pretty good solution.  Score!

Get your GloveTips on half-price blowout at Indigo, if you want to try them yourself.

How To Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Cup of Jo posted a link to this last week, and I thought it was so cool.  Talia Christine shows how she makes her own baby wipes, by cutting a roll of paper towels in half, and soaking them in a mix of water, baby shampoo, and olive oil.  Such a great idea.  See the full post with step-by-step instructions here.

[images via Talia Christine]