Attractive, affordable backpacks and totes for carrying a laptop

Whenever I’m at tech or media events, I’m always checking out people’s bags. Finding attractive, affordable backpacks or totes for carrying your laptop (or other tech gear) is hard! I’m always on the lookout for stylish, hardworking bags.

In Toronto, the startup worker’s brand of choice seems to be Herschel. Their backpacks are reasonably priced, but are a bit too trendy and casual for me. I prefer the backpacks and totes by Everlane (this one is my current go-to) or Montreal-based vegan leather brand Matt & Nat. I have two Bookhou totes (this one was my all-time fav, and I have this one in rotation as well).

The bag I’m now coveting is a bit of a splurge… maybe I’ll put it on my Christmas list. It’s this leather handbag by Edmonton boutique Poppy Barley. The website says it’s big enough to carry a 13″ or 15″ laptop, so it seems beautiful and practical. Only question is – should I get it in caramel or grey?

Photos: Matt & Nat backpack (top left), Poppy Barley handbag (top right), Bookhou tote (bottom left), Everlane backpack (bottom right)

A perfect evening in Leslieville

It’s been over 10 years since I transitioned from working in the live theatre industry to working in the tech industry. While I don’t work behind the scenes anymore, I still like to attend theatre shows. And with Crow’s Theatre opening their own space in my Leslieville neighbourhood, there’s really no excuse to not attend regularly… so a friend and I purchased season’s ticket subscriptions.

Last week we saw the first show of the season (Asking for It) and had a pre-dinner meal at Gare de L’Est, conveniently next door to Crow’s. Both dinner and the play were great, and I’m looking forward to doing it again soon.

(photo of the steak hache at Gare de L’Est, which I had for my meal, by Hector Vasquez from the review in blogTO

Join me at the Hot Docs Podcast Festival this weekend

For the second year in a row, my company Camp Tech has sponsored the Hot Docs Podcast Festival. I love supporting and participating in this great event. I was at the festival this morning, hosting a panel (Podcasting Essentials: The Tools You Need to Make Your Show) with panelists Suzanne Hancock, Sebastian Major, Nana aba Duncan and JP Davidson (pictured above). I’ll be back on Sunday to enjoy three shows: Modern Love, The Memory Palace and Canadaland. If you’re looking for something fun to do in Toronto this weekend, check it out!

PS – which podcasts are you loving these days?

Finally, an eReader I can drop in the bath

poster for Into the Water book

waterproof Kobo eReader

I love to read in the bath. And I love to read on an eReader. Normally those two don’t go so well together. I’ve been known to put my Kobo or Kindle in a ziploc bag to protect it from splashes. Very glamorous. 😉

Earlier this week I went to a press event for the launch of the new book Into the Water (by the Girl on the Train writer Paula Hawkins) and the launch of a new Kobo eReader that’s WATERPROOF. Now I can read in the bath or by the pool without worrying. Game changer!

Podcasts I’m Loving Right Now

What podcasts do you enjoy? Lately I’ve been loving the new seasons of Startup and Science Vs. I’m just starting S-Town (I know, I must be the last person on the planet who hasn’t heard it all yet).  My all-time favourite podcast is Reply All and I listen to CANADALAND every week. When I’m feeling kind of sappy I love Cheryl Strayed’s advice column podcast Dear Sugar. In December I listened to Making Oprah (fascinating!) and I really enjoyed The Globe and Mail‘s Colour Code and The Risk Takers podcasts last summer and fall.

Did you know I have a podcast? It’s the Camp Tech Podcast with Avery Swartz, and I talk all about tech for small business, sometimes with guests, sometimes on my own. If that interests you, check it out!